Miami Dermatology & Skin Care

Skin Cancer

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Skin Cancer services in Miami, FL

When detected early, even aggressive types of skin cancer can have a cure rate of up to 99%. Skin cancer detection and treatment is a top priority for board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist Carlos Ricotti, MD, at Miami Dermatology & Skin Care in Miami, Florida. Dr. Ricotti invests in the most advanced diagnostic tools and treatments to reduce skin cancer rates and protect your health against this serious disease. Call or schedule an appointment online today to learn more. 

Skin Cancer Q&A

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is a common condition that occurs when skin cells grow and multiply rapidly. It typically begins in the epidermis, the skin’s outermost layer, but can penetrate deeper into the tissues and spread. Nearly one in five people develop skin cancer by age 70 in the U.S., making it the most common type of cancer by far.

Early intervention is the most effective way to prevent and treat skin cancer. The earlier you seek treatment for abnormal moles and lesions, the better the outcome.

What are the main causes of skin cancer?

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light is the main cause of skin cancer, but many factors can increase your risk, including:

  • Frequent sunburns
  • Poor sunscreen use
  • Tanning bed use
  • Radiation exposure
  • A weakened immune system
  • Fair skin

Take precautionary steps to protect your skin from UV damage and skin cancer by wearing and reapplying 50+ SPF sunscreen regularly, investing in sun protection (hats, sunglasses, long-sleeved shirts), and scheduling annual skin checks.

How quickly does skin cancer spread?

There’s no concrete timeline on how quickly skin cancer spreads, but the type you have can help determine its aggressiveness. The three most common types of skin cancer include:


Basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma, the most common and least aggressive type, appears in sun-exposed areas, such as the face, head, neck, and chest. Lesions can be scaly, crusty, and pink. They rarely spread but can cause skin damage if left untreated.


Squamous cell carcinoma

The second most common type, squamous cell carcinoma, typically spreads slowly. However, it causes more significant damage than basal cell carcinomas. These lesions typically appear flat, shiny, or waxy. They may appear on sun-exposed areas, like the scalp, face, ears, or hands. 



Melanoma can spread quickly, sometimes as rapidly as six weeks. It’s the most aggressive form of skin cancer and almost always develops from an abnormal mole. Anybody can get melanoma, and it can appear in areas with little to no sun exposure.

Is skin cancer treatable?

Skin cancer is treatable, especially when detected early. Depending on the severity of your condition, your board-certified dermatologist may perform the following treatments or refer you to a specialist:

  • Surgical excision
  • Cryotherapy
  • Mohs surgery
  • Topical chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

While skin cancer is dangerous, it’s also preventable and treatable when caught early. Call Miami Dermatology & Skin Care today or schedule an appointment online for comprehensive skin cancer screenings and treatment.