Schedule Your Skin Check Today With Germain Dermatology - Ryan's Skin Cancer Journey

If you didn't have a chance to follow Ryan Nelson's skin cancer story on Instagram regarding her Squamous Cell Carcinoma on her left foot, please check it out on the Germain Dermatology Instagram page. 
Hi all, Ryan Here! 
Recently, I had a rare mole on my left foot that looked abnormal. I made an appointment with Germain Dermatology's PA Louisa Floyd to have it looked at. Sadly, it came back as Squamous Cell Carcinoma. From the Skin Cancer Foundation
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells arising in the squamous cells, which compose most of the skin’s upper layers (the epidermis). SCCs often look like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression, or warts; they may crust or bleed. They can become disfiguring and sometimes deadly if allowed to grow. More than 1 million cases of squamous cell carcinoma are diagnosed each year in the U.S., and (depending on different estimates) as many as 8,800 people die from the disease. Incidence of the disease has increased up to 200 percent in the past three decades in the U.S. 
SCC is mainly caused by cumulative ultraviolet (UV) exposure over the course of a lifetime; daily year-round exposure to the sun’s UV light, intense exposure in the summer months, and the UV produced by tanning beds all add to the damage that can lead to SCC.
SCCs may occur on all areas of the body including the mucous membranes and genitals, but are most common in areas frequently exposed to the sun, such as the rim of the ear, lower lip, face, balding scalp, neck, hands, arms and legs. Often the skin in these areas reveals telltale signs of sun damage, including wrinkles, pigment changes, freckles, “age spots,” loss of elasticity, and broken blood vessels.

I worked with Mohs Surgeon Dr. Joseph McGowan to remove the cancer. Thankfully, because of his expertise at Mohs Surgery, Dr. McGowan was able remove it all. (Thank Goodness!)  He did a purse-string procedure that would take time to heal. It's still in its healing mode but doing well. He's amazing BTW and has continuously checked on my healing. 

Dr. Joseph McGowan, Mohs Surgeon at Germain Dermatology 

Ironically,  I'm a huge fan of flip flops and practically grew up on the beach and over the age of 40 - so that's a lot of time in the sun. But I never truly thought about putting sunscreen on my feet. Where the SCC was on my foot -- hidden by straps of the flip flops --  that didn't stop it from growing. 

Before Mohs Surgery 

SCC removed by Dr. McGowan 
Sported a wrap for a while 
Bye wrap & hello smaller bandage! 

Excuse the dirty feet - ha! You can see it healing
The healing as of 10/23 

So there's my story... I have been lucky enough to work with Germain Dermatology for 7 years as a marketing consultant, each year I get a skin check. I have many friends tell me they don't want to get one because they're scared to hear about it. Just like a mammogram, pap smear, dental visit, etc. none of it is fun and yes, it can be scary - but it's more scary if you don't go and find out it is too late to be treated. I had the second most common form of skin cancer and that's overwhelming sometimes to say. But thankfully, it's gone and it hopefully will not return. 

So still going to use that excuse that it takes forever to see a dermatologist in Charleston? Not anymore! 

Germain Dermatology just added a new, brilliant dermatologist to their team, Dr. Ashton Rountree. And she has appointments available open for the rest of 2017 - along with the talented dermatology PA's Louisa Floyd and Holly Carter. 
Believe it or not but 2018 will be here soon - which means now's the time to get the most out of your health benefits.
If you have a medical condition that needs to be evaluated or an annual skin check, Dr. Rountree has appointments available now so make your appointment with her TODAY!
Call 843-881-4440 and visit Germain Dermatology for details.  

I'd love to hear your skin cancer story. Thanks for reading, Ryan 

Ryan Nelson, owner of Nelwater Consulting

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