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
"I absolutely recommend this place! The Dr. and staff are always friendly and knowledgeable. My favorite part is that they do virtual appointments!"- T.C. / Google / Feb 12, 2021
"Best experience at a doctors office! The office is clean beautiful and inviting with relaxing music. No waiting, was taken in right away. Dr. Wilkerson was kind, professional, extremely knowledgeable and answered all my questions. Jackie was so sweet and helpful. They even offer you water. Lovely office!"- E.A. / Google / Feb 11, 2021
"As a physician myself, I can tell you that Dr. Wilkinson is extremely professional, knowledgeable, and extraordinarily pleasant. I highly recommend him. I will be referring many patients to him."- M.M. / Google / Jan 24, 2021
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