Melanoma is known as the most aggressive skin cancer as it can be fatal if left untreated. This disease often arises as a black or brown mole, but it can also be pink or tan in appearance. It starts in the pigmented cells or melanocytes of the skin, which is typically caused by excessive sun exposure or UV light. When the pigmented cells are damaged from UV light, it causes a mutation that leads to the development of a malignant tumor or cells. If you have a mole or brown spot that you are concerned about, call Fort Lauderdale Dermatology to schedule an appointment with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Eric Wilkerson. At our office in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Dr. Wilkerson can perform a thorough skin exam and perform a biopsy, if necessary.
It can be difficult to spot cancerous skin cells when you may not know or understand what to look for. This is why it's essential to meet with a board-certified dermatologist, like Dr. Wilkerson, to have your skin screened to map out moles and identify malignant skin cells as early as possible. Dr. Wilkerson will also educate you on signs to look out for with the ABCDE rules:
- A: Asymmetrical mole (one side is larger than the other)
- B: Borders on the mole (a malignant mole will not have a defined, smooth border)
- C: Color (a malignancy will be various colors throughout the mole)
- D: Diameter (benign moles usually stay small, but malignancies will start to spread out)
- E: Evolving (cancer cells in a malignant mole will keep evolving and changing the appearance of the skin)
"I’ve seen Dr. Wilkerson three times now and have never felt like it’s been a rushed visit like other dermatologists I’ve been to. He’s been able to drastically improve skin issues that I’ve dealt with for years. Very clean and professional practice."- M.H. / Google / Nov 13, 2019
"Dr Wilkerson was referred to me by my primary care physician and I am very thankful he was. After being in a trauma accident sustaining multiple wounds, I encountered a rash and irritation around them. I could not afford to get any infection while healing all my injuries. Dr Wilkerson and his assistant Jackie were friendly and gentle. They asked many questions and thoroughly examined the injury site. The doctor’s level of care was exceptional and he took his time to answer all my questions patiently. His treatment plan ‘cured’ my issue and I look forward to my follow up appointment. Jackie was courteous and gracious enough to call me a week after my appointment to follow up and see how I was feeling and how my recovery was progressing."- S.D. / Google / Oct 12, 2019
"Jackie and Dr. Wilkerson are the absolute BEST!!! They are incredibly hospitable, compassionate, thorough and fun. They are timely and the office is spectacular and clean. Do not go anywhere else!!"- K.L. / Google / Oct 20, 2020
"Dr. Wilkerson and his nurse, Jackie, are fantastic. Two of the nicest people I’ve met in my time here in South Florida. Went in to get a couple pilar cysts removed from the top of my head, and it could not have gone any better than it did. The waiting area, and the patient rooms are in immaculate condition. When you get there, there’s no waiting around for Dr. Wilkerson to come in and greet you. From the moment you walk in the door to the moment you leave, you’ll be the focus of their attention. It is well worth the drive if you don’t live in Ft. Lauderdale. I drove from Boca, and would do it again because they are the best."- J.H. / Google / Oct 13, 2020
"Dr Wilkerson is an excellent dermatologist. Not only is he very knowledgeable and experienced, he is professional with great bedside manner. I’m a primary care physician and choose to refer my patients to him for this reason. Also Jackie at reception made me feel at home right away with her welcoming smile and assistance. Thanks for the great care!"- D.N. / Google / Oct 05, 2020
Melanomas are known to be caused by genetics and excessive sun exposure or tanning. You are also at a higher risk of developing melanoma if your parent or family has a history of skin cancer. Your chances increase if you have:
- Blue, green, or gray eyes
- Light-colored or red hair
- Routinely tanned in a tanning bed
- Excessive sun exposure (even if it did not lead to a sunburn)
Treatment for melanoma at Fort Lauderdale Dermatology is based on the subtype of the cancer, staging, size, location, and depth. Dr. Wilkerson's first step will be to perform a thorough full-body exam, perform a biopsy of any suspicious moles, blood work, and possibly take a PET or CT scan to determine a diagnosis. From there, he will review all your treatment options, which may include excision, Mohs surgery, electrodesiccation and curettage (ED&C), or topical chemotherapy cream. We also invite you to explore our skin cancer services to learn more about these treatments.
What to Expect
The treatment process will look different for each individual, depending on the therapy selected by you and Dr. Wilkerson. Dr. Wilkerson will take his time to answer all your questions and concerns so you understand all your options and can make an informed decision on how to move forward. He will also review the benefits and limitations of each treatment and provide a recommendation on which regimen he thinks will be best for you and your unique condition.
Schedule An Exam
If you have a mole or brown spot that has changed in size or color or suspect you may have skin cancer, it's important to schedule a skin exam right away. Seasoned dermatologist Dr. Eric Wilkerson has been treating men and women with melanoma for many years and can help ease your mind by providing a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Call Fort Lauderdale Dermatology in Fort Lauderdale, FL to schedule your consult today.
The Dangers of Tanning
Both natural and artificial tanning sources cause skin damage through ultraviolet (UV) radiation that leads to an increased risk of skin cancer.Read
The ABCDEs of Melanoma
These ABCDEs are important for monitoring your skin for the development of melanoma, which is a potentially dangerous form of skin cancer.Read
Skin Cancer - The Basics
Skin cancer is extremely common. In fact, skin cancer is THE most common cancer with millions diagnosed each year.Read