Skin Cancer Specialist

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Skin Cancer services located in Wake Forest, NC

As the most common cancer in the United States, skin cancer proves itself a risk for most people. To avoid developing skin cancer, you should learn about preventive methods and receive regular skin examinations from your dermatologist. At Wake Forest Dermatology in Wake Forest, North Carolina, Patricia Matheis, MD, examines your skin condition to help you prevent skin cancer and find the right treatment to address your skin issues. Call her office or use the online booking tool today to schedule an appointment and receive an evaluation with Dr. Matheis.

Skin Cancer Q & A

What types of skin cancer exist?

You can develop three main types of skin cancer, depending on where the cancer forms in your cells. These types include:

Basal cell carcinoma

This usually occurs in areas of your body that are frequently exposed to the sun, such as your neck and face. You may notice a pearly or waxy bump, a brown scar-like lesion, or a bleeding and scabbing sore that comes and goes on your skin. 


This type of skin cancer can develop anywhere on your body and commonly occurs in existing moles that become cancerous. Signs of melanoma include large brownish spots with darker speckles, moles that change in color and size, or painful, dark lesions that itch or burn.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma typically occurs in areas of your body that are exposed to the sun, such as your face, ears, and hands. This type of cancer can appear as a firm, red nodule or a scaly, flat lesion.

You can also have nonmelanoma skin cancer, which refers to all types of skin cancer that are not melanoma. 

What are the causes of skin cancer?

Skin cancer occurs when mutations occur in the DNA of your skin cells, causing the cells to grow and form a mass of cancer cells uncontrollably. Skin cancer begins in the epidermis, the top layer of your skin, and contains three main types of cells where cancer can develop. 

These are your squamous cells, which lie just below the outer surface of your skin, your basal cells, which sit beneath the squamous cells, and your melanocytes which are located beneath your other cells in the lower part of your epidermis. 

Dr. Matheis determines what type of skin cancer you have and the right treatment options for you by identifying where it takes place in your cells. 

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is one of the most common causes of most skin cancer due to the damage sun exposure, and tanning bed lights cause the DNA in your skin cells. Exposure to toxic substances or having a condition that weakens your immune system contributes to the development of skin cancer as well. 

How do you treat skin cancer?

Dr. Matheis at Wake Forest Dermatology takes careful consideration of your skin type, evaluating potential skin conditions. If she’s suspicious of the development of skin cancer, she takes a skin biopsy where she removes a sample of your skin for lab testing. 

If she determines that you have skin cancer, Dr. Matheis may need to complete additional testing to determine the stage of skin cancer and the right treatment method for you. These treatments may include:

  • Freezing the cancerous parts of your tissue with liquid nitrogen
  • Cutting out the cancerous tissue and surrounding area through excisional surgery
  • Providing radiation therapy or chemotherapy to kill cancer cells
  • Destroying skin cancer cells with photodynamic therapy 
  • Scraping or burning off cancerous skin growths through curettage and electrodesiccation

Specializing in holistic care, Wake Forest Dermatology also provides biological therapy as a treatment option which uses your body’s immune system to kill cancer cells. 

To receive an evaluation for skin cancer, call Wake Forest Dermatology or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Matheis today.