The American Hair Loss Council has asked me to write an article on skin conditions. As a melanoma survivor, I am more than happy to share my experience. Cosmetologists, trichologists and even dermatologists often miss spots on the scalp, which are harder to detect because they are covered by hair. Other areas of concern are the ears, shoulders, back and face.
I live in Florida so I have had my fair share of basal cells and squamous cells burned off or cut out. What really surprised me was a dark spot (of which I have many all over my body) that turned out to be a . It was cut out and 60 stitches later I was cancer free.
I initially went once a year and now go every six months for a body scan. Fortunately, this melanoma was caught in the early stages. The most frightening part of this story is that I was at the plastic surgeon’s office for a routine appointment with the lady who does my hair laser removal. I showed her the dark spot on the front of my shoulder and she said “Oh my, laser can get rid of that.” She zapped it hard a few times. It never went away and actually got a little bigger. To make a long story short, she missed the fact that it was melanoma and tried to laser it off. That is why it is so important for us as cosmetologists, trichologists or hair replacement experts to recognize skin cancer. I have clients with half an ear or a big hole in the neck or terrible facial scars due to different skin cancers. Here is a look at different skin cancers and the ABCD of melanoma. Take the time to do some research, print this and put it in your salon so you can be more aware of skin cancers. It may be a matter of life or death.
Patti Wood WTS, Owner of Off 5th Avenue Salon, is a professionally trained hair stylist and a certified Trichologist specializing in Hair Replacement therapy and solutions. Patti has helped many clients solve hair loss problems ranging from cancer treatments, male or female pattern baldness, hair thinning, and Alopecia Areata. She works closely with Dermatologists and Physicians in treatment plans.