The physicians at Bellingham Ear, Nose, and Throat are skilled at diagnosing and treating all types of facial skin disorders. Some examples of these are unsightly moles, skin tags, or other lesions of the head and neck. Some of the more common conditions we treat are sebaceous cysts of the face and scalp, mucoceles of the lips, skin tags of the eyelids, verruca (warts) of the skin, hemangioma, and all types of skin cancer including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. These types of skin cancers are discussed in more detail below.
Other facial skin conditions we treat are rosecea, rhinophyma, seborrheic keratosis, and actinic keratosis. These may be diagnosed by your primary physician or provider, ophthalmologist, dermatologist, or allergist – who may suggest you see a surgeon skilled in facial plastic surgery.
Options for treatment include non-surgical therapies such as liquid nitrogen treatment for some types of growths, as well as biopsy, removal, and reconstruction after surgery. All of our physicians utilize facial plastic surgical techniques to give you the best possible results.
If you do have a skin condition of the face, scalp, or neck and it is concerning to you, the first step is to come in to have it evaluated.
Skin cancer removal and reconstruction
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and due to frequent sun exposure the face is often affected. Surgery is the recommended treatment for most types of skin cancer. Certain areas of the nose, ear, eyelid, lip, and scalp can be very challenging to repair. Lesions in these sensitive locations are best treated by a surgeon experienced in facial skin cancer treatment. After the cancer is completely removed, the resultant defect often requires reconstruction to restore a natural appearance. Skin cancer reconstruction is an effective way of disguising scars and minimizing the damage left behind by the cancer resection procedure. This may require one or a combination of procedures including primary repair, local skin flap reconstruction, or occasionally skin grafting.
The surgeons at Bellingham Ear, Nose, and Throat and Facial Plastic Surgery have years of experience treating facial skin cancers, and their goal is maximizing both the effective treatment of the cancer, as well as your appearance after surgery.
Types of skin cancer:
- Melanoma can develop in a pre-existing mole or as a dark spot on the body, most commonly on the head or neck, the back, or the back of the legs. It is characterized by a mole that looks uneven in terms of its border, shape, or color.
- Non-melanoma skin cancers can be either basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma often develops as a waxy spot that may crust and bleed when bumped. It tends to grow very slowly, over months to years, and although potentially quite disfiguring and locally invasive, it rarely metastasizes to other parts of the body. Squamous cell carcinoma often looks like a mound of tissue or wounded skin that doesn’t heal. Although not as dangerous as melanoma or many forms of internal cancer, squamous cell carcinoma will occasionally spread to the local lymph glands and on to the rest of the body.