Understanding Melanoma - Part 1

Posted on 23 November 2016
Melanoma is a cancer arising from the pigment cells of the skin ( these calls are called the melanocytes). To understand melanoma it is helpful to have a basic understanding of the structure of your skin and how the skin pigment system works. Part 1: The Skin System The skin is composed of 2 layers The EPIDERMIS and the DERMIS . The superficial ( outer) layer of the skin is called the EPIDERMIS .This is the barrier between you and the outside world. It is composed for the most ...
Posted in: Skin Cancer Melanoma  

Is melanoma a seasonal illness?

Posted by Dr James Burt on 11 October 2016
I sometimes get asked if melanoma is a seasonal illness? Do you see more melanoma in summer time? I think when people ask this question they often misunderstanding how melanoma develops. Their thought process is very much that one sunburn or one episode of over exposure to the sun directly results in the melanoma over the next few weeks of months. We do diagnose more melanoma in the lead up to summer and over the summer months but this is for 2 reasons in my opinion . 1. Th...
Posted in: Melanoma  

Information about the sun, sunscreens and your skin

Posted by Dr James Burt on 12 June 2016
What is UV anyway? The sun radiates light and heat towards the earth. We classify the different components of the sun's energy according to visibility and wavelength. Ultraviolet (or UV) radiation is part of the invisible energy transmitted from the sun. Ultraviolet energy is important to us because it is responsible for much of the problems we see with skin cancer and equally importantly it is responsible for up to 90% of the ageing effects we see in our skin as we get older. ...
Posted in: Skin Care  

Advice on the care of scars

Posted by Dr James Burt on 12 June 2016
All surgical wounds leave a scar however fine. All scars pass through obligatory phases of wound healing.  After the initial healing phase, sutures are removed.  The wound although now healed is in an extremely active phase as your body strengthens and remodels the scar. For this reason there is much activity in the wound in the early months after healing.  This makes your scar: Red (high blood flow associated with activity) Lumpy (lots of new cells enteri...
Posted in: Scars  

Does the site of my skin cancer make a difference?

Posted by Dr James Burt on 12 June 2016
In most cases the part of your body on which a skin cancer is found does not effect the likelihood of having further troubles in the future with the skin cancer as long as it is properly treated. There a few exceptions : Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) Lips -  Squamous cell carcinomas of either the lip ( particularly lower lip)   does have an increased risk of travelling to the surrounding lymph nodes (glands). This can be up to 9% risk .You will therefore see your...
Posted in: Skin Cancer  
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