Concerned You May Have Squamous Cell Carcinoma?
Your Local Dermatologist Can Help

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma and What Does It Look Like?

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the second most commonly diagnosed form of skin cancer. It appears on the skin in a variety of sizes and shapes, such as dome-shaped growths that may bleed, bumps that feel crusty, flat patches that are red and rough, and sores that won’t heal. 

Repeated sun exposure is a common cause of SCC, especially on the head, face, neck, arms, legs and hands. SCC can also show up inside the mouth or on genitalia, and can be associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV). It’s also possible for SCC to start as growths known as actinic keratosis (AK). Both SCC and AKs are dry, scaly and rough-textured.

Who Gets Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Everyone can get SCC, but it is more common with those who:

  • Have with lighter hair, skin and eyes (fair skin, red or blond hair, blue or green eyes).
  • Use indoor tanning devices.
  • Spend a lot of time outdoors for work or leisure without sunscreen or covering with clothing.
  • Are exposed to cancer-causing chemicals (coal tar, some insecticides or herbicides).
  • Use tobacco products.
  • Have been diagnosed with AK.
  • Have an ulcer or sore on your skin for many months or years.
  • Have received an organ transplant.
  • Have been infected with HPV in the anogenital area.
  • Have received many PUVA light treatments.
  • Suffer from xeroderma, pigmentosum, epidermolysis bullosa or albinism.
  • Take medications that increase sun sensitivity.

Reducing Your Risk 

If you’ve been diagnosed with SCC, you’re also at risk for developing other skin cancers, such as melanoma. To prevent skin cancer development:

  • Dress appropriately in the sun. Wear lightweight and long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. 
  • Use shade. The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Reapply sun screen every two hours or so, even on cloudy days, especially after swimming or sweating.
  • Be cautious around snow, sand and water. These reflect and intensify UV rays and increase the risk of sunburn.
  • Avoid tanning beds. Just one indoor tanning session can increase your risk for skin cancer.
  • Keep all your dermatologist appointments. When detected early, skin cancer is highly treatable.
  • Perform self-exams on your skin. Check yourself regularly for any growths or spots that seem questionable and keep track of moles and freckles.

Diagnosing and Treating Squamous Cell Carcinoma


When found early, SCC is very treatable. Diagnosing is typically done with a skin biopsy. A skin tissue sample (usually part or all of the suspected BCC) will be taken and microscopically examined to confirm the presence of cancer cells. 

Treatment depends on where the SCC is located, the size of it and your overall health. Treatment options include:

  • Excision involves surgically removing the melanoma, as well as some of the normal-looking skin around the SCC. The removed tissue is then examined microscopically to determine if all cancer cells have been removed.
  • Mohs surgery is the most successful technique for eliminating skin cancer, with a 99% success rate. In this process, the cancer is removed layer by layer in one session until it’s gone. Dermatologists who have completed specialized training in Mohs surgery can perform this procedure.
  • Electrodesiccation and curettage removes the cancer by scraping it from the skin (curettage) and then heating the area to destroy leftover cancer cells (electrodessication). 
  • Radiation treatments may be recommended if the patient cannot undergo surgery, the cancer is too aggressive for surgery alone or when surgery isn’t the best option. 
  • Chemotherapy or immunotherapy cream can be prescribed to apply to your skin at home to destroy cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy drugs can help with the treatment of SCC that has spread to other parts of the body. 
  • Chemoprevention can help if you have a condition that has caused multiple SCCs. This oral medication and reduce the likelihood of developing future SCCs.

Anti-inflammatory Medication

We recommend consulting a specialist to help determine if Anti-Inflammatory Medications are the best treatment option for you. Learn More

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are medicines used to stop infections created by the presence of bacteria. Learn More

Bellafill®

Bellafill is a dermal filler is used to replace lost volume and recreate the smooth, full appearance of skin when the body’s slowing collagen production leads to deep smile lines and wrinkles around the mouth or to improve the appearance of skin that has been scarred by acne.  Learn More

Biologic Injectables

Biologic injectables (Humira, Enbrel, Taltz, Stelara, Cosentyx) are biologics designed to be injected subcutaneously into the skin. Learn More

Biopsy

A biopsy works by taking a small sample of tissue from a suspect area in the body so that it can be tested under lab conditions for certain diseases and disorders. Learn More

Blue Light

Blue light is a popular therapy used for treating acne. Blue light kills off bacteria on the skin and in the oil glands that cause acne. Learn More

Botox

While produced by the microbe that causes botulism, Botox is safe for cosmetic use, especially in the upper parts of the face. Learn More

Brightening Peels

Brightening peels are chemical peels formulated to target pigmentation, including stubborn melasma and sunspots. Learn More

Canthacur

Canthacur is a substance applied topically to the skin that works as a vesicant, causing a blister to form on a growth. Learn More

Chemical Peels

A chemical peel works to hasten this process, revealing newer and healthier cells below the skin’s surface. Learn More

CoolSculpting®

CoolSculpting uses FDA-cleared, innovative technology which contours the body by freezing away unwanted body fat. Learn More

Corticosteroids

A corticosteroid works by suppressing the activity of the immune system and reducing the production of chemicals that create inflammation. Learn More

Customized Medical Facials

Our completely-customized facial treatments are designed to treat your skin care concerns. Learn More

Cyclosporine

Cyclosporine is used in a number of conditions where the immune system behaves erratically. Learn More

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers work by imitating the hyaluronic acid that gives younger skin its fullness and buoyancy. Learn More

Dermapeel

DermaPeel is our signature aesthetic treatment, which combines a chemical and physical exfoliation. Learn More

Dermaplaning

Dermaplaning is a physical form of exfoliation which sloughs off dead skin cells on the surface and as an added bonus also removes most of the surface “peach fuzz.” Learn More

Dermoscopy

Dermoscopy is a technique for evaluating the subsurface of the skin and diagnosing affected areas and lesions. Learn More

Dupixent

Dupixent is a drug that when injected into the skin, works at blocking a specific protein known as an interleukin. Learn More

Dysport®

Dysport is a prescription injection proven to help smooth the appearance of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows and wrinkles without changing the look or movement of the rest of your face. Learn More

Excision

Excision is a minimally-invasive surgery technique used to remove moles, skin growths and lesions. Learn More

Facials

The classic facial is our take on the classic spa facial. This pampering treatment includes cleanse and steam. Learn More

Fluorouracil (5FU)

Fluorouracil works to slow this growth by killing off the fast-growing cells in the affected region of the skin. Learn More

Fraxel

A Fraxel laser is used primarily in the cosmetic treatment of the face. Learn More

HydraFacial MD®

The HydraFacial resurfacing procedure thoroughly cares for your skin, providing cleansing, exfoliation, extraction and hydration all while infusing antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid into the skin. Learn More

Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone works to lighten the skin by reducing the number of melanocytes present. Learn More

Imiquimod

Imiquimod is a topical cream that stimulates the immune system. Learn More

Immune System Suppressants

An immune system suppressant, such as Imuran or CellCept, steps in to address this by suppressing the activity of the immune system and reducing the production of chemicals that create inflammation. Learn More

Infini Treatments

Infini treatments use a combination of micro needling and radiofrequency to energize and reinvigorate the skin. Learn More

Injectable Wrinkle Fillers and Relaxer

Injectable wrinkle fillers and relaxers are injected underneath the surface of the skin to either fill in wrinkles and furrows or relax particularly strong wrinkles and furrows. Learn More

Intralesional Injection

Intralesional injection is a process whereby a corticosteroid is injected directly into a skin lesion or irregular growth. Learn More

IPL

IPL is a light treatment used to affect and improve the appearance and condition of skin. IPL is different from a laser which uses only one wavelength of light. Learn More

Isolaz

Isolaz technology is an alternative that combines vacuum with a broadband light to address acne below the surface of the skin. Learn More

Jeuveau®

Jeuveau® is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used in adults for a short period of time (temporary) to improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows. Learn More

Juvederm®

Juvederm is the brand name for a collection of dermal fillers that are used to improve the signs of aging. These fillers contain hyaluronic acid and has a smooth, gel-like consistency. Learn More

Kybella®

Kybella is a non-surgical intervention used to address this fat beneath the chin. Learn More

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal utilizes specific wavelengths of light that are drawn to the pigment at the “root” or bulb of the hair. Learn More

Laser Resurfacing

Laser resurfacing is a dermatological procedure that uses lasers to smooth and refine the surface of the skin while also reinvigorating the layers of skin below. Learn More

Laser Tattoo Removal

Laser tattoo removal is a procedure that utilizes lasers that penetrate the skin and are able to permanently demolish the ink particles within the cells that give color to a tattoo and the body clears the ink slowly over time.  Learn More

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is a dermatological procedure that uses lasers to smooth and refine the surface of the skin while also reinvigorating the layers of skin below. Learn More

Light Therapy

Originally developed for Navy seals to help wounds heal quicker, light therapy has been shown to be highly therapeutic for skin. Learn More

Liquid Nitrogen Cryotherapy

Liquid nitrogen cryotherapy works by freezing and destroying the cells in a skin growth or lesion. Learn More

Microderm

Microderm, also known as microdermabrasion, uses tiny crystals that are sprayed onto the skin to gently remove the outer layer of the epidermis. Learn More

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion, also known as microderm, uses tiny crystals that are sprayed onto the skin to gently remove the outer layer of the epidermis. Learn More

MiraDry

Topical chemotherapy works by modifying the body’s immune response. Learn More

Mohs

Mohs, or Mohs surgery, is a surgical technique used to treat skin cancer through the removal of skin lesions and growths. Learn More

Mole and Skin Cancer Screening

A mole and skin cancer screening is a full body review of all present lesions. Recommended frequency will be discussed based on your individual cancer risk. Learn More

Narrowband UVB

Narrowband UVB is a form of phototherapy widely used to treat skin diseases. Learn More

Neoral

Neoral, also known as cyclosporine, is in the class of drugs known as immunosuppressants. Learn More

Non-Surgical PRP Hair Restoration

PRP (platelet-rich plasma) is a high concentration of platelets surrounded in its own plasma. Learn More

Oral and Topical Medications

Dermatologists are experts in bacterial, viral and fungal infections in the skin and have a deep knowledge of how to best use antibiotics, antiviral and antifungal medications. Learn More

Otezla

Otezla is a prescription pharmaceutical that regulates inflammation within the cells of the body or the skin. Learn More

Patch Testing TRUE-Test

The TRUE test, also known as patch testing, is a quick and easy way to check for and diagnose allergic contact dermatitis in patients. Learn More

PDL

PDL, or pulse dye laser, is a laser treatment used in dermatology to treat blood vessels in the skin. Learn More

PHAROS Excimer Laser

PHAROS laser treatment uses a carefully-focused beam of light that is delivered to the skin through a highly-sophisticated fiber optic device. Learn More

Photo Rejuvenation

Photofacials use IPL light treatment to affect and improve the appearance and condition of skin. Learn More

Photodynamic Therapy

Learn More

Photofacials

Photofacials use IPL light treatment to affect and improve the appearance and condition of skin. Learn More

Photofacials Photo Rejuvenation

Photofacials use IPL light treatment to affect and improve the appearance and condition of skin. Learn More

PRP

PRP, also known as platelet rich plasma, is a treatment used as a dermatological remedy on the face. Learn More

PRP Infraorbital Treatment

PRP, also known as platelet rich plasma, is a treatment used as a dermatological remedy on the face. Learn More

PUVA

PUVA is a treatment for the skin that combines ultraviolet light and specific medications. Learn More

Radiesse®

Radiesse is an injectable dermal filler used to plump the skin. When age or scarring causes fine lines, wrinkles or sagging, this filler can be injected below the skin to restore volume and smooth, youthful fullness. Learn More

Restylane®

Restylane is a type of dermal filler composed of hyaluronic acid. Each injectable in this product line is designed to meet a specific skin need and can be used to soften and smooth wrinkles and add volume to your lips and cheeks, and target lines around your mouth. Learn More

RHA® Collection Filler

RHA fillers are the only FDA-approved hyaluronic acid fillers for dynamic wrinkles and folds. Learn More

Scar Removal

Scar removal, sometimes referred to as surgical revision, is a treatment option for those who wish to reverse the appearance of scars on the body. Learn More

Sclerotherapy

Spider veins can be a frustrating vascular condition while varicose veins can become swollen and even painful. Learn More

Sculptra®

Sculptra is an FDA-approved synthetic injectable used to correct shallow to deep facial wrinkles and folds. It’s also a collagen stimulator that helps revitalize your body’s own collagen production. Learn More

Skin Resurfacing + Micro-Needling

Fractionated laser resurfacing and microneedling are used to decrease the appearance of sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scarring. Learn More

Skin Tightening Treatment

Skin laxity and the loosening of the structure of the skin on the face is one of the most frustrating parts of aging for many individuals. Learn More

Skin Tightening Treatments

Skin tightening procedures use targeted energy to heat the layers of the skin below the epidermis. Learn More

Stem Cell Recruitment Therapy with DermaFlo™

Stem Cell Recruitment Therapy with DermaFlo™ is safe and effective, helping the body boost its ability to heal itself. Learn More

Sunetics Hair Growth Laser

The Sunetics laser is a safe and effective hair growth treatment option. Learn More

Surgical Removal Excursion

Surgical removal excursion is a minor surgical procedure used in the treatment of lower risk skin cancers. Learn More

Surgical Revision

Surgical revision is a treatment option for those who wish to reverse the appearance of scars on the body. Learn More

TCA Peels

A TCA peel works to hasten this process, revealing newer and healthier cells below the skin’s surface. Learn More

Thermage Laser

The Thermage® system is a non-invasive radiofrequency (RF) therapy that can help smooth, tighten and contour skin for an overall younger-looking appearance. Learn More

Thread Lift

A thread lift is a non-surgical facelift and skin rejuvenation procedure using absorbable sutures/stitches called polydioxanone (PDO) threads. Learn More

Topical Chemotherapy

Topical chemotherapy works by modifying the body’s immune response. Learn More

Tretinoin

A derivative of vitamin A, Tretinoin is a topical retinoid solution that works by irritating the cells of the skin to stimulate growth and increase the turnover and shedding of old, dead cells in the skin. Learn More

Vbeam® Laser

The Vbeam® laser is a world renowned, easy to use pulsed dye laser recognized as the gold standard technology for the treatment of vascular lesions. Learn More

Visia Analysis

Utilizing the Visia skin complexion analysis system, we are able to provide an objective and quantitative assessment of your skin health. Learn More

Waxing

Waxing is a method of removing unwanted hair on your body. It is an efficient and effective treatment. Learn More

Wrinkle Relaxers

Wrinkle Relaxers, such as Botox® Cosmetic and Dysport®, are prescription medications that are injected into muscles of expression. Learn More

Xeomin®

Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA), is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to improve wrinkles and frown lines between the eyebrows.  Learn More

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