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What You Need to Know About Melanoma

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. As a form of cancer that begins in melanocytes (cells that make the pigment melanin), melanoma rates are rising rapidly, especially in younger people.

To better understand how best to prevent and treat melanoma, it’s essential to start building an awareness of this skin-damaging disease. Dr. Malena Amato is a board-certified eyelid and facial plastic surgeon in Austin, TX. She is driven by the belief that everyone deserves to look and feel their absolute best, whether that means pursuing an aesthetic treatment or educating her patients about how to protect themselves and their delicate skin.

Dr. Amato is specially trained in skin and eyelid cancer reconstruction, with the knowledge and skills of effectively removing and repairing the harmful damage done. Here is everything you need to know about Melanoma to help prevent and treat it.

What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is the most common form of skin cancer and also the most serious. It is responsible for leaving many families devastated by the loss of a loved one. As the fifth most deadly form of cancer in men and women, melanoma is largely due to exposure to UV radiation. UV radiation feeds melanoma at an alarming rate, whether through exposure to natural or artificial sources, such as tanning beds.

You are not too young to have Melanoma.

Melanoma can be found in all decades of life, so don’t tune out if you think you are too young to be at risk. In fact, melanoma has been found in adults in their late 20s and early 30s. Studies have shown that even just one time in a tanning bed can increase your risk of melanoma by 25%. So, if you have a spot or a mole that looks suspicious, be sure to ask your doctor about it as early as possible.

What causes Melanoma?

Melanoma has many risk factors apart from just UV light exposure. The risk of melanoma can be inherited (familial melanoma), mutated from genes or other DNA changes due to abnormal cell growth, and a result of excessive UV exposure, natural or artificial. If you have a history of skin cancer in your family, it’s imperative that you have any suspicious spots examined by a physician and try to limit your sun exposure as much as possible.

How To Prevent Melanoma

The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention recommends avoiding sunburn at all costs by using high SPF sunscreen, protective clothing, and staying out of direct sunlight during peak hours of the day. It is especially crucial to avoid tanning, whether out in the sun or under artificial light from tanning beds.

For those who love the look of tanned skin, self-tanning products are an excellent alternative and can provide a natural bronzed look much faster and safer than hours spent in the hot sun.

Skin Cancer Reconstruction in Austin, Texas

When it comes to skin and eyelid reconstruction, Dr. Amato often works with a Mohs cancer surgeon to remove the cancer using precise surgical techniques. Afterward, Dr. Amato will perform the reconstruction to help restore your appearance. With Dr. Amato’s extensive experience in treating eyelid and orbital cancers, you can go back to looking and feeling your absolute best after beating skin cancer.

For more information on skin cancer reconstruction, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Malena Amato at (512) 501-1010 or fill out our online form to schedule your personalized consultation.