Known as the most aggressive type of skin cancer, melanoma or cutaneous melanoma may be fatal if left untreated. Malignant (cancerous) melanoma often presents itself as a black or brown mole, but it can also be pink or tan in appearance. It originates in the pigmented cells (melanocytes) of the epidermis and is often caused by excessive sun exposure or ultraviolet light. When the melanocytes are damaged (from sun exposure), it causes a DNA mutation, which creates malignant tumors. If you have a mole that has grown or changed over time, call Legacy Dermatology & Restoration Center to schedule a skin screening with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jennifer Dharamsi. During your consult, Dr. Dharamsi can examine your skin and perform a biopsy to determine if you have a cancerous melanoma.
It can be challenging to spot malignant skin cells when you may not know or understand what to watch out for. This is why it's crucial to meet with a board-certified dermatologist, like Dr. Dharamsi, to have your skin screened to map out moles and identify malignant skin cells as early as possible. Dr. Dharamsi 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)
"Dr. Dharamsi is the very best! She removed skin cancer from my face with very little scarring and removed a wart from my daughter’s hand. She was terrified and Dr. D and her PA’s were fabulous!"- B.E. / Google / Jul 29, 2021
"People who might have skin issues or may think they have skin cancer. I had MOHS surgery on my face and wrist recently. The MIHS team and Dr. Dharamsi’s team were great! They all work together like clockwork! I highly recommend them."- S.M. / Facebook / Jan 01, 2022
"I had to go to their surgical center for removal of a skin cancer. Everyone treated me with kindness, explained everything before, during and after the procedure. Five Stars for sure!"- F.S. / Google / Jul 23, 2022
"Beautiful, relaxing office. Each staff member I’ve had contact with has been professional, knowledgeable and friendly. Dr. Farid does an excellent job explaining appropriate options to keep my mid 60’s aging skin healthy. I’ve also had a couple of skin cancer surgeries there where the care was exceptional. Just a great dermatology practice all around."- B.C. / Google / Mar 27, 2023
"10/2023 update - I saw Patrice, PA, in July for my annual skin check. I showed up for the appointment and to my chagrin had accidentally canceled it vs confirming. They fit me in and Patrice took a biopsy that ended up being malignant melanoma that required referral to an Oncologist. I travel a lot and if they wouldn't have fit me in, I wouldn't have rescheduled for a long time. That aggressive cancer would have just been metastasizing in my body.... They likely saved my life, not being dramatic at all!! I have since gone through the cancer excision and lymph node testing and am thankful to be cancer free. Can't recommend these professionals enough! 10/2021 update - saw Dr. Dharamsi today because I needed more specialist attention for removal of facial mole(s). Always a great experience! Update to previous review - I visited during the peak of COVID in NTX and felt very safe with the protocol in place. Saw Patrice and Dr. Farid and had a great experience, yet again. Will be back! I've been a patient at Legacy Dermatology, really since they first opened. I see Patrice for my annual skin wellness check, and Dr. Farid for cosmetic. The offices are beautifully decorated and clean, the staff professional and kind. I've literally never interacted with someone who isn't nice. They also offer high quality skin care products, including great sunscreen. Dr. Farid does a great job with cosmetic injections - he's gentle and has a knack to not cause bruising. His approach achieves very natural results that don't make you look like you've had "work done". They have recently invested in expanding their business and now have Legacy Restoration, which is dedicated to cosmetic. Same office park, same swanky decor & great care. I highly recommend choosing Legacy for your skin and beauty needs."- L.D. / Google / Oct 12, 2023
Melanomas are known to be caused by genetics and excessive sun exposure. 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 Legacy Dermatology & Restoration Center is based on the subtype of the malignancy, staging, size, location, and depth. Dr. Dharamsi'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, she will review all your treatment options, which may include excision, Mohs surgery, electrodesiccation and curettage (ED&C), or topical chemotherapy cream (also see our non-melanoma page for more information regarding treatment).
What to Expect
The treatment process will look different for everyone, depending on the regimen selected by you and Dr. Dharamsi. You can rest assured that Dr. Dharamsi will take her time to review all your treatment options with you during a private consultation and discuss all the pros and cons of each treatment, including which one she thinks may be the best option for you and your needs. Our goal at Legacy Dermatology & Restoration Center is to help you get the care you deserve in order to live a long, healthy life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Since melanoma begins as a mutation of the skin cells due to sun damage, we encourage our patients to take protective measures when spending extensive time out in direct sunlight. Wearing sunscreen, long-sleeved shirts, and sun hats can help protect your skin from harsh UV rays and decrease the chances of developing melanoma.
How often should I see a dermatologist?
We recommend that you see Dr. Dharamsi once a year for an exam. Keeping these appointments — in addition to self-exams at home — can help catch any abnormalities as early as possible, which can save your life.
Schedule An Exam
Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer that should be treated right away. Legacy Dermatology & Restoration Center offers several treatment options, and we also inform our clients on the signs and symptoms of melanoma so they can understand what is normal and abnormal. If you think you may have skin cancer, have a family history of melanoma, or have never had a skin exam, we invite you to call Legacy Dermatology & Restoration Center in Frisco, TX.