Newport Beach

Vincent C. Hung, MD, MOHS Surgery, Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery

Category: Skin Cancer

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4 Ways You Can Get Skin Cancer Besides Sunlight

, | The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

Medical examination to determine if moles are cancerous.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are the biggest and most well-known cause of skin cancer. However, other factors at play affect the health of our skin. This blog discusses how skin tone, moles, lifestyle choices, and other factors can impact your risk of developing skin cancer.

9 Minute Read:

What Is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, at least three million people are being affected by non-melanoma types of skin cancer every year. It occurs when abnormal cells in the epidermis (outermost layer of the skin) grow uncontrollably due to unrepaired DNA damage, leading to mutations.

What Are the Different Types of Skin Cancer?

The three most common types of skin cancer include the following:

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC): uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells from the basal cells in the epidermis (outermost layer of skin) that typically develops on areas of the skin exposed to the sun
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC): uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells from the squamous cells in the epidermis (outermost layer of skin) that typically develops on areas of the skin exposed to the sun
  • Melanoma: the most dangerous type of skin cancer that occurs when melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) in the skin become cancerous.

Can Skin Picking Cause Cancer?

Although frequent picking or scratching of the skin can cause damage to the skin, researchers have not discovered a causative link between this unhealthy habit and skin cancer.

Is Skin Cancer Only Caused By the Sun?

We are constantly warned that sun exposure causes skin cancer, and it is true that ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun is responsible for more skin cancer cases than anything else. However, the sun is not the only threat to the health of your skin.

What Is the Most Common Form of Skin Cancer Which Is Not Related to Sun Exposure?

Melanoma is a common form of skin cancer that can appear in locations of the body areas with little to no exposure to the sun or UV rays.

Can You Get Melanoma Without Sun Exposure?

Yes, melanoma can develop anywhere on the body, even in locations not heavily exposed to the sun, such as the bottom of the hands and feet, inside the mouth, and even under the nails.

Common Risk Factors and Possible Causes of Skin Cancer Other Than the Sun and UV Rays

Skin cancer has many causes and types, including the risk factors discussed below. It’s essential to educate yourself about skin cancer to protect your health and the health of your loved ones. Below are four common risk factors and possible causes of skin cancer besides the sun and UV rays.

1. Skin Tone

Skin cancer can affect people regardless of skin tone; however, those with less pigment (melanin) in their skin are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer. It is estimated that Caucasian men over 50 have the highest risk of getting melanoma due to a reduced amount of pigment in the skin.

How Is Skin Tone Related to Sunburn?

We know to proceed with caution when basking in the sun’s rays, but the risk doesn’t end when our day in the sun is over. Many misconceptions exist about the relationship between sunburn, skin tone, and skin cancer.

Sunburn is an inflammatory skin reaction that occurs after prolonged exposure to sunlight. Anyone can get a sunburn, but those with fairer skin and freckles are more prone to them.

It’s important to note that while darker skin tones are less likely to get sunburn, it is still a possibility–and it’s less visible on darker skin. Additionally, skin cancer is often noticed in its more advanced stages in darker skin, when it’s much more difficult to treat. If you have darker skin, be sure to monitor your skin regularly and report any changes to your doctor immediately.

Does Sunburn Cause Skin Cancer?

Sunburn damages the skin, and cell damage can contribute to the development of cancer. Although one sunburn doesn’t immediately spell skin cancer, even one instance of sunburn can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.

Prevention is key. Limit your time in the sun and protect your skin whenever you’re outdoors. Wearing clothing and hats with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 30 or higher is one of the best ways to protect your skin from the sun. In addition, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of 15 or higher to exposed skin—regardless of season (summer, winter), weather (hot, cold), or sky conditions (sunny, cloudy).

Does Sunscreen Cause Skin Cancer?

Some people have concerns about chemicals in sunscreen. Remember, chemicals are just molecules and aren’t inherently good or bad. Currently, there is no scientific evidence that sunscreen can cause skin cancer. If anything, it’s the inactive ingredients in sunscreen, such as fragrances and preservatives, that can cause sensitivity or an allergic reaction. It’s a good idea to test for sensitivity to new products on an inconspicuous area of the body before use.

People who use any type of sunscreen can still develop skin cancer, often because of sun exposure earlier in life. Using sunscreen can reduce the risk of melanomas and carcinomas by almost half. Find a sunscreen that works for you, and apply it 15–30 minutes before going outside.

A dark silhouette of a woman stands in front of the ultraviolet blue glow of a tanning bed.

2. Tanning Beds

Indoor tanning beds are often promoted as a safer and faster alternative to long hours laying out in the sun. This is not true. Indoor tanning devices increase the risk of developing BCC by 24% and SCC by 58%. In addition, studies have shown a causative link between indoor tanning and melanoma in younger women and men. Using indoor tanning devices before age 20 can increase the risk of developing melanoma by 47%, and that risk continues to increase with each use.

The UV radiation exposure caused by tanning beds is completely avoidable. For the sake of your health, consider embracing your natural skin tone or use a DHA-based spray tan to achieve a safer glow.

Can Infrared Light Cause Skin Cancer?

Different kinds of light waves, including UV, visible, and infrared light, can all impact your skin. On their own, visible and infrared light don’t cause sunburn or skin cancer. In combination, however, all three forms of light waves can penetrate the deeper layers of skin and contribute to cell damage.

3. Moles

In most cases, moles are harmless and will not develop into cancer. However, the more moles you have, the higher your risk of developing cancer.

Many cells in a mole contain cancer-related genes that cause them to grow and multiply. These genes are often dormant, but this may not always be the case.

Can a Mole Become Cancerous Without Sun Exposure?

Although rare, other factors, such as viruses, chemical exposure, and other environmental pollutants, may contribute to the development of melanomas. More research is required to validate these claims, but they serve as a reminder to be mindful of your environment and maintain health checkups.

If you have multiple moles, it’s wise to keep regular appointments with a dermatologist for thorough skin exams.

4. Smoking

Usually, when we think of smoking, we relate it to cancers of the lungs, mouth, or throat. You may be surprised to know that smoking can also have a significant effect on the development of skin cancer.

Smoking can increase the risk of squamous cell carcinoma, especially on the lips. It’s possible that smoking also decreases immune function, which can contribute to an increased risk of cancer.

Smoking has also been linked to cancer metastasizing or spreading—possibly because of the harmful effects that the accompanying chemicals have on DNA. Your best bet is to avoid smoking altogether.

How Can You Help Prevent Skin Cancer?

As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Below are a few tips on how you can lower your risk of developing skin cancer.

Stay Out of the Sun

One of the simplest ways to protect yourself from skin cancer is to limit your exposure to the sun’s  UVA and UVB rays. Staying out of the sun is not always possible, so wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily. Wearing UPF clothing and hats will also help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Avoid Tanning Beds

Studies have shown that UV radiation from tanning beds damages the skin’s DNA cells, which can lead to premature aging of the skin and increase the risk of developing skin cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) advises people to avoid using tanning beds.

Maintain Good Health

Living a healthy lifestyle is essential to maintain good health. Don’t smoke, avoid unnecessary harsh chemicals, and limit alcohol, sugar, and fast food. Staying active can boost the immune system and reduce inflammation, and eating a diet rich in nutrients helps your body fight chronic illness. These actions cannot prevent cancer, but together, they can decrease your risk of developing cancer and other chronic diseases.

Self-Checks and Doctor Exams

Routine checkups and self-awareness also play a significant role in prevention and detection. Look for warning signs of skin cancer, such as changes in size, shape, or color of a mole, the appearance of a new growth, or a sore that will not heal.

When performing a self-examination of your skin and any moles or lesions, follow the ABCDE rule:

  • Asymmetry: one half of the lesion or mole does not look like the other half
  • Border: the lesion or mole has an irregular border
  • Color: the color of the lesion or mole is not uniform or has changed (usually darker)
  • Diameter: the diameter of the lesion or mole is larger than 6 mm (the size of a pencil eraser)
  • Evolving: the lesion or mole has changed in size, shape, or color

If you notice any of the above, be sure to visit a board-certified dermatologist to determine if cancer has developed. If cancer is found, it can often be treated with Mohs surgery. Mohs surgery is a specialized procedure that removes layers of cancerous skin in stages to prevent the unnecessary removal of healthy tissue. In some cases, skin grafts are used to restore the appearance of the skin.

Once a diagnosis has been obtained by a practicing dermatologist, request a referral to Dr. Vincent C. Hung. Dr. Hung is triple-board-certified in dermatology, Mohs skin cancer surgery, and plastic surgery – assuring you the most aesthetically pleasing results following Mohs surgery.

Want to Learn More About Skin Cancer?

If you or someone you love needs more information about skin cancer treatment, please contact Dr. Hung at his Pasadena office at 626-432-5032 or his Newport Beach office at 949-574-8292.


Diagnosed With Skin Cancer? Choose Your Surgeon Carefully

| The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

4 Minute Read: 

While “cancer” is one of the scariest (if not the scariest) words out there, the good news is that with medical advancements, many cancers can be successfully treated, and this is particularly true for skin cancers. 

Closeup of a surgeon holding a board reading "skin cancer"

However, that doesn’t mean that your road to recovery with skin cancer will be easy or should be taken lightly. In fact, it means the opposite. 

It is of the utmost importance that you take your skin cancer diagnosis seriously and begin your journey toward health and peace of mind immediately. You need to understand the details of skin cancer, and the first (and often most important) decision you need to make is which surgeon you should trust with your cancer surgery. 

There are really three different options for men and women who have been diagnosed with skin cancer. Patients can have their cancer treated by a dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or surgical oncologist. Below, we will explore these different options to help you understand who you should trust with your specific cancer treatment.

How Is Skin Cancer Treated?

Skin cancer is treated by surgically removing the cancerous tissue and skin, and one of the most effective methods for treating skin cancer is Mohs surgery. Mohs surgery is trusted and popular because it only removes the affected tissues, preserving as much of the healthy skin and tissue as possible. Additionally, Mohs surgery can help ensure complete removal of the cancer. 

Mohs surgery is often performed by a trained dermatologist or plastic surgeon. For this procedure, your doctor will use a scalpel to remove the visible portion of the tumor, along with a very thin amount of tissue surrounding the tumor. The thin layer of removed skin will be evaluated to see if it contains any cancer. If it does, then an additional portion of skin will be removed and then analyzed. This procedure is repeated as many times as needed until the removed skin shows no cancerous cells. This process allows the cancerous skin to be removed completely without disturbing much of the healthy skin tissue.

When Do I Need to Contact a Surgical Oncologist?

While a dermatologist or plastic surgeon can often be used to treat skin cancer (especially basal and squamous cell cancers), there are certain situations when a surgical oncologist is required. 

These situations include more advanced cancer, including melanoma

For these advanced cancers, lymph nodes near the tumor may need to be removed to minimize the risk of the cancer spreading to the surrounding tissue. Your dermatologist or plastic surgeon will notify you if a surgical oncologist is needed for your specific treatment.  

Why Is It Beneficial for a Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon to Treat Your Skin Cancer?

As long as your skin cancer is not advanced, it can be a smart choice to have your tumor treated with Mohs surgery by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. There are several reasons for this. The first is that dermatologists and plastic surgeons who are specifically trained in Mohs surgery tend to place more focus on saving healthy skin while minimizing any unsightly results to your skin as possible. Additionally, a plastic surgeon can offer reconstructive options for skin that has undergone Mohs surgery. 

For skin reconstruction procedures, skin and cartilage grafts can be used to minimize the appearance of surgery, which can help you feel more confident and comfortable with your entire procedure. 

Why Choose Dr. Hung for Your Skin Cancer Treatment?

Dr. Vincent C. Hung is not only a specialist in Mohs surgery, but he is also one in only a handful of doctors in the world who is triple-board certified in Internal Medicine, Dermatology, and Plastic Surgery. 

With Dr. Hung, you are truly in the very best and most capable hands. Dr. Hung takes pride in each of his procedures and puts his patients’ health and results first and foremost. In particular, Dr. Hung has extensive experience in successful Mohs surgery procedures. Dr. Hung realizes that cancer is a scary ordeal for men and women, which is why he and his excellent staff at Pasadena Plastic Surgery Center , his Newport Beach office, and his Pasadena office are dedicated to helping patients through each step of their skin cancer treatment.

Interested in Learning More? 

If you have questions about Mohs surgery or skin cancer treatments in Southern California, please feel free to contact Dr. Hung at 626-432-5032 (Pasadena) or 949-574-8292 (Newport Beach). 

​​Skin Cancer FAQs: What Should You Know Going Into Your Treatment

, | The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

3 Minute Read: 

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. It is estimated that about a fifth of all Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lifetime. 

Below is a rundown of the frequently asked questions about skin cancer.

​​Woman's mole being checked under a magnifying glass.

What Is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer can be understood as an abnormal growth of cells on the skin. This issue usually occurs as a result of overexposure of the skin to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

What Are the Common Types of Skin Cancer?

There are three main types of skin cancer: squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and melanoma

BCC is the most common of the three. It affects the basal cells of the skin, which are essentially the cells responsible for making new cells to replace the dying ones. BCC usually develops in areas that are most exposed to the sun, including the face, neck, head, and hands.

SCC is the second most common form of skin cancer. It usually affects the outer surface of the skin in areas such as the head, face, and neck. It also occurs in areas such as the genitals and the mucus membranes.

Melanoma is not as common as BCC and SCC, but it happens to be the most dangerous — even life-threatening. It usually affects the cells responsible for making the skin pigments and can spread rapidly through the lymph nodes.

What Are the Signs of Skin Cancer?

Each form of skin cancer is associated with some unique warning signs. 

BCC is associated with signs such as:

  • A small shiny bump
  • A scaly, red flat patch
  • A black or brown bump
  • A lesion that bleeds
  • A non-healing sore

Squamous cell carcinoma is associated with signs such as:

  • A scaly red patch that looks like a rash
  • A persistent small ulcer on the lips
  • A crusted open sore
  • A raised scaly lump on the scalp, hands, legs, ears, or forearm

Melanoma usually presents itself as a mole that changes shape, size, and color. The mole might also bleed, itch, or cause pain.

How Is Skin Cancer Diagnosed?

When you notice an unusual spot on the surface of your skin, you need to see a dermatologist. 

The dermatologist will examine the spot to determine if you have skin cancer. To this end, your dermatologist will remove the spot or a part of it and study it using a microscope to see if there are any cancer cells. 

If cancer cells are present, your dermatologist will write a biopsy report and highlight the kind of skin cancer you have.

How Is Skin Cancer Treated?

Skin cancer can be treated in several ways depending on the type of cancer in question and its stage of development. 

Some common treatment options include:

  • Mohs surgery
  • Excisional surgery
  • Cryotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Photodynamic therapy

Once you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, your dermatologist or surgeon will explain your options and advise you on the best steps to take.

Can Skin Cancer Be Prevented?

Since skin cancer is often caused by overexposure of the skin to the sun’s UV radiation, the best way to prevent it is to take measures that reduce your exposure to the sun. 

Some examples of such measures include:

  • Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen
  • Seeking shade whenever possible
  • Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes
  • Wearing hats with wide brims
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants

It is also important to keep an eye on all moles and other skin lesions to make sure they look healthy.

Need to Learn More About Skin Cancer Concerns or Treatment?

Get in with Dr. Vincent C. Hung’s practice today to learn more about skin cancer and how it is treated.

Give us a call at (626) 432-5032 or fill out our online contact form.

9 Nutrients to Add to Your Diet to Help Prevent Skin Cancer

| The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

3 Minute Read:

The link between what we eat and cancer prevention has been well-documented, but how can diet affect our chances of getting skin cancer specifically?

While there are many ways to prevent skin cancer (most notably avoiding direct sunlight and UV damage to your skin), your diet can play a role in keeping your skin healthy and cancer-free. Several nutrients (especially antioxidants) found in food can help you prevent skin cancer.

Superfoods, nuts, legumes, and more in bowls.

Our body can produce many of the substances needed to keep us healthy, but not antioxidants, and the best way to get these nutrients are from the foods we eat.

Nutrients That Lower Your Skin Cancer Risk

The following nutrients are rich in antioxidants have been found to assist in the prevention of skin cancer:

  • Beta-carotene – Boosts the immune system by converting itself to vitamin A, increasing its ability to fight disease.
  • Vitamin C – Contains properties that are toxic to cancer cells.
  • Vitamin D – Reduces cancer risk by boosting the immune system.
  • Vitamin E – Helps protect cells from free radicals and UV light while acting as an anti-inflammatory. Improves the skin’s overall condition.
  • Lycopene – Helps protect skin from the sun’s damaging effects. It has been linked to a lower risk of many cancers.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – Reduces inflammation while inhibiting the growth of skin cancers.
  • Polyphenols – Has tumor-inhibiting and anti-inflammatory components that help repair DNA damaged by UV light.
  • Selenium – Helps to reduce the risk of several cancers.
  • Zinc – An effective immunity booster that helps the body fight cancer and other illnesses.

Food That Lower Your Skin Cancer Risk

Foods high in beta carotene like squash, carrots, peppers, and mangoes.You can find the nutrients you need to lower your risk of skin cancer in the following foods:

  • Beta-carotene – Orange fruits and vegetables like squash, carrots, yams, cantaloupe, mangoes, peaches, and apricots
  • Vitamin C – Citrus fruits, strawberries, raspberries, broccoli, bell peppers, and leafy greens
  • Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids – Fatty fish, like mackerel, sardines, herring, tuna, and salmon
  • Vitamin D – Milk, cheese, and vitamin D-fortified orange juice
  • Vitamin E – Almonds, peanuts, beet greens, collard greens, spinach, red bell pepper, sunflower seeds, pumpkin (also rich in beta-carotene), as well as safflower, soybean, sunflower, and wheat germ oil
  • Lycopene – Red and pink foods like watermelon, papaya, guava, pink grapefruit, blood oranges, and tomatoes
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – Walnuts and flaxseed also contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Polyphenols – Fresh-brewed black or green tea
  • Selenium – Brazil nuts, seafood, organ meats, chicken, and red meat
  • Zinc – Red meat, shellfish, poultry, baked beans, chickpeas, and nuts (such as cashews and almonds) — many breakfast foods are fortified with zinc

Staying Healthy and Helping to Prevent Skin Cancer Is a Win-Win

Man's back being examined for skin issues.Increasing your consumption of the foods mentioned above will help you stay healthy and is far more effective than using supplements alone.

However, getting some of these nutrients in supplement form is better than not getting them at all, especially if you work outside, spend a lot of time at the beach, tan regularly, or worship the sun in any way.

Keeping your skin healthy takes a combination of protecting your skin from sun damage with hats, clothes, and sunblock AND being sure to eat a diet that can help you fight the risk of developing skin cancer.

Keeping Your Skin Cancer-Free in Newport Beach, CA

If you have any skin concerns, you can trust Newport Beach’s own Dr. Vincent Hung. He is triple board-certified in dermatology, plastic surgery, and internal medicine and the only plastic surgeon in the country board-certified in dermatology and trained for Mohs skin cancer surgery.

Call us today at our Newport Beach Office 949-574-8292 or Pasadena Office 626-432-5032 for a consultation — we’re here to help!

What Should I Know About Skin Reconstruction on My Arms and Legs?

, | The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

4 Minute Read: 

Skin cancer treatment on your extremities can leave your legs and arms with cosmetically unappealing marks. Scars from previous surgical procedures or injuries on your extremities can also make your skin less attractive. 

Unfortunately, these issues can hurt your self-image and self-confidence. The good news is that you can improve the appearance of your legs and arms by going for skin reconstruction surgery. 

Woman exposing a scar on her bare shoulder

But what does skin reconstruction surgery on legs and arms entail, and what can you expect from it?

When Is Skin Reconstruction on Arms and Legs Needed?

Treating skin cancer involves removing the affected tissue and cells through Mohs surgery

The primary goal of this procedure is to ensure that all affected cells (including clean margins) are removed. Unfortunately, this can leave you with large wounds that could affect your appearance.

Since going through skin cancer treatment is tough enough, you do not want these scars to constantly remind you of the ordeal. To improve the appearance of these scars, you will need skin reconstruction surgery.

Options for Skin Reconstruction on Arms and Legs

Skin reconstruction on legs and arms after removing cancer can be quite difficult because the skin in these areas is taut. 

Besides, the skin of your lower legs is under immense stress due to the weight that your legs have to carry. This means that it is not always possible to close the wound on these areas in a straight-line fashion. 

As such, your surgeon will need to get skin grafts from your thighs or other parts of the body to cover the area with lost or damaged skin. Other options include flap surgery and tissue expansion. 

The goal of all these options is to improve the appearance of the scars left after removing skin cancer surgically.

What Should I Expect From Recovery After Skin Reconstruction on Arms and Legs?

After skin reconstruction surgery, you will be left with two surgical sites to take care of: the graft site and the donor site. The wounds will remain dressed for as long as your surgeon recommends. 

You will be required to avoid strenuous physical activities for up to four weeks. 

Of course, you will experience pain for a few days after the surgery, but you will be given medication to manage it. You will also be required to avoid smoking and ensure that you visit your surgeon for follow-up visits. The donor site should heal faster than the graft site, but you should be okay to go back to your daily routine after about six weeks.

Interested in Learning More About Mohs Surgery or Reconstruction Afterward?

If skin cancer removal left your legs with unsightly scars, you can improve the appearance of the scars through skin reconstruction surgery. 

If you are looking for a Mohs surgery plastic surgeon who also performs skin reconstruction on arms and legs, Dr. Vincent C. Hung’s plastic surgery facility may be ideal for you. Contact us via 626-432-5032 for more information about skin reconstruction surgery.


How Effective Is Mohs Surgery?

, | The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

2 Minute Read: 

Any cancer diagnosis can be disorienting and frightening. Over 5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States. However, there is good news. Most cases of skin cancer are treatable, especially if they are caught early.

Stethoscope next to a clip board reading 'Mohs Surgery' on desk

When Is Mohs Surgery Recommended?

Mohs surgery is recommended for certain types of skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. Other factors that make Mohs surgery the best option include aggressive or large cancers and cancers affecting areas with very little underlying tissue, such as the eyelids, noses, ear, scalp, genitals, hands, or feet. 

Previously treated cancers that reoccur may be eligible for Mohs surgery too.

What Happens During Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery is a specialized technique for treating skin cancer, named for the surgeon who first developed it. The technique has evolved and improved over the years and is now considered one of the most advanced skin cancer treatments available.

The Mohs Surgery Procedure

A surgeon removes visually cancerous cells first, then carefully removes very thin layers of skin, one at a time. Each layer is examined to detect any sign of cancer. 

The person undergoing surgery is usually awake and alert, and the surgical site is numbed by anesthesia. 

Most procedures take place in a doctor’s office or clinic. The wound is bandaged after each layer of skin is removed while the surgeon examines the skin under a microscope. The procedure continues until no signs of skin cancer are present.

Surgical Goals

Surgeons undergo fellowship training in Mohs surgery to read slides of skin layers and coordinate microscopic results to the surgical site. The overarching goal of Mohs surgery is to minimize the risk of cancerous cells growing back while preserving as much healthy skin and tissue as possible.

How Is the Site Treated After Surgery?

The preservation of healthy tissue helps surgical sites heal quickly. Some sites don’t even need stitches. Other sites may need stitches, but the wound heals quickly. 

Sometimes the risk of scarring is greater if the surgical site is in a delicate area, such as under the eyes or around the nose and mouth.

Skin Grafts and Wound Care

Skin grafts may minimize scar tissue formation. People with large wounds may be placed under the supervision of surgeons that specialize in wound treatment. Specialized wound care may also be recommended for people with diabetes or other conditions that could complicate healing.

Interested in Learning More About Mohs Surgery?

You can contact Dr. Hung’s office in Pasadena at 626-432-5032 or the Newport Beach office at 949-574-8292 to learn more about Mohs Surgery and possible reconstruction options post-surgery. You can also fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment.

What Are the Benefits of Wearing Sunscreen Every Day?

, | The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

2 Minute Read: 

Sun damage used to mean the occasional burn and a few freckles. But we now know more about the devastating effects of the sun on unprotected skin. Not only does exposure accelerate aging and cause fine lines and wrinkles, but it can also lead to unattractive skin abnormalities and even skin cancers

Woman applying sunscreen to her nose under a hat.

Now, parents are encouraged to slather children in sunscreen, and older adults are advised to avoid direct sun altogether. Even the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) strongly recommends the regular use of sunscreen for all ages to prevent skin cancer and reduce skin damage.

What Damage Does Sun Exposure Do to the Skin?

At the cellular level, DNA is altered when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. 

Even though you might not notice the effects of sun exposure right away, damage in the deeper layers of the skin accumulates over time. 

Without sunscreen, skin regularly exposed to the sun will eventually begin to show irreversible damage. This will manifest as wrinkles, sunspots, and cellular irregularities, such as skin tags and, potentially, cancerous growths.

What Are the Different Types of Sunscreen?

There are many formulations on the market when it comes to sunscreen and sunblock. The AAD suggests checking labels for products that offer this bare minimum: broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays), SPF 30 or higher (some products go up to 60 SPF), and water resistance. 

Sunblocks are less discreet but equally effective, blocking UV rays with a physical barrier made from minerals like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. However, they are a bit more difficult to use than sunscreen creams and gels absorbed by the skin.

How to Use Sunscreen for Maximum Benefit

Sunscreen will protect you better if you use it correctly. 

Following these few tips from dermatologists may help:

  • Apply sunscreen at least fifteen minutes before heading outside — it takes a bit of time to start working
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours — one application will not help you much for an entire day in the sun
  • Don’t rely solely on sunscreen for protection — seek shade, wear a brimmed hat, and stick to clothes that cover (many fabrics have UV protection built in these days)
  • Don’t forget these parts of your body when applying sunscreen: your ears, tops of feet, and the tip of your nose

Interested in Learning More?

Concerned that your skin has been sun damaged or that you may have developed skin cancer

Get in touch with the friendly professionals at the California clinic of Vincent C. Hung, MD, specializing in dermatology and plastic surgery. Call our Pasadena office at 626-432-5032 or our Newport Beach office at 949-574-8292, or use the contact form to schedule a consultation.


Is Sun Exposure the Only Cause of Skin Cancer?

, | The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

3 Minute Read: 

Most people assume that skin cancer is only caused by prolonged exposure to the sun. It’s true, the sun’s UV rays are the leading cause of skin cancer; however, many other lifestyle factors can influence skin cancer development. 

Let’s look at lesser-known causes of skin cancer, so you can work to prevent it.

Women getting a mole on her back checked by a doctor, potentially for skin cancer

What Are the Common Causes of Skin Cancer?


The leading cause of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays produced by sunlight. 

However, the sun is not the only way to be exposed to UV radiation. Another is tanning beds. 

Like the sun, tanning beds emit both UVA and UVB rays. Both of these penetrate the skin, and both can increase your risk of skin cancer (not to mention premature aging, rashes, and even allergic reactions). 

To make things worse, since indoor tanning does not require good weather, people can use these devices year-round, increasing their exposure to harmful UV rays.


Unfortunately, some skin cancer factors cannot be avoided. Your genetics play a huge factor, and there is nothing you can do to change that. This means that you will need to be vigilant and aware of warning signs. 

Although, skin cancer can affect anyone:
  • Studies have shown that men are more prone to melanoma than women, and Caucasian men have a higher risk than other ethnicities. 
  • Certain genetic disorders that affect the pigmentation of the skin make people more prone to skin cancer. 
  • People with fair skin and freckles are more likely to suffer burns from the sun, increasing their risk of damage. 
  • Additionally, people prone to moles have a higher chance of developing skin cancer than those with fewer moles.

Additional Factors

Some people develop skin cancer if they have been exposed to high levels of X-rays or have been in contact with chemicals, such as arsenic, which miners and farmers commonly use. 

Skin cancer can also be caused by hydrocarbons which are present in tar, soot, and oils.

How Can I Reduce the Chances of Developing Skin Cancer?

The best way to reduce the chances of developing skin cancer is awareness and proper sun protection. 

Ensure that you always put sunscreen on and don’t sit or lay in the sun for long periods — especially during peak hours. It’s also best to avoid visiting tanning salons, which can damage your skin and may cause skin cancer in the long run.

People with moles should consider making a mole map. That way, they can keep an eye on their moles and watch for any unusual changes in shape, size, or color.

For more information about how to identify a melanoma, read our blog here

Contact Dr. Hung Today!

If you have any moles that you are worried about or have recently noticed changes to your skin, it’s best to visit a doctor for a check-up. 

Skin cancer affects as many as one in five Americans; however, it is usually very treatable when found early.

If you live in Southern California, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Vincent Hung. The team can be reached at (626) 432-5032 for more information about skin cancer tests and treatment, including Mohs Surgery.

How Does the Sun Damage Your Skin?

, | The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

3 Minute Read: 

Many people wish for tanned, glowing skin; however, tanning, if not done correctly, can result in severe skin damage. 

This means that having tan, beautiful skin when you are younger may result in wrinkles and sunspots at an older age. 

In addition to displeasing aesthetic effects, excessive sun exposure can cause skin cancer. Therefore, it is important to avoid harmful tanning, such as tanning beds and sitting in the sun, and switch to spray tans or tanning lotion to maintain your skin’s glowing, youthful appearance. 

Woman in blue bathing suit spending time on the sunny beach.

How Can I Avoid Sun Damage? 

While the sun can damage your skin, it can also be healthy for you. The sun can provide vitamin D, improve sleep, improve mood, and even relieve stress. If you are going to spend time in the sun, you must take the proper precautions. 

1. Wear Sunscreen 

This may seem like an obvious tip, but it is surprising how many people do not wear sunscreen when they are in the sun. Even if you are not going to the beach or sitting by the pool, putting sunscreen on at the beginning of every day can protect you from the harmful UV rays you are exposed to throughout the day. 

Consider keeping sunscreen in your car or your purse for quick access and reapply as needed. 

2. Limit Sun Exposure 

We are constantly exposed to the sun during the day, even if it may seem cloudy outside. However, you should significantly limit your exposure to the sun during its peak hours. This usually occurs in the middle of the day. If you choose to go outside when the sun is brightest, consider wearing sunscreen or protective clothing to protect your skin. 

3. Wear Sunglasses 

The sun not only affects our skin but our eyes as well. Constant exposure to the sun can cause damage to the cornea, which can eventually cause blurriness and loss of vision. 

4. Wear Long-Sleeved Shirts and Pants 

In many situations, we cannot avoid being out in the sun. In cases where you spend a significant amount of time in the sun, sunscreen may not be enough to protect you. Wearing clothing that covers your arms and legs can help protect against sun damage. Additionally, wearing a hat can block the sun from reaching your face. 

5. Ask Medical Professionals About the Medications You Take 

Believe it or not, certain medications can increase sunlight sensitivity. This means that you are more likely to burn and experience the harmful effects of sun exposure. If you notice the sun is affecting you more than normal, your medication could be to blame. 

Please talk to your doctor to see if your medication is increasing your sunlight sensitivity. 

How Is Skin Cancer Treated? 

Thankfully, when caught early, skin cancer is treatable. 

Dr. Hung offers Mohs micrographic surgery to remove skin cancer and leave as much healthy skin as possible. 

If you have been recently diagnosed with skin cancer, please call Dr. Hung at his Pasadena office at 626-432-5032 or his Newport Beach office at 949-574-8292 to schedule a consultation for Mohs surgery. 

Skin Cancer Awareness

| The Office of Dr. Vincent Hung

3 Min Read

May is skin cancer awareness month. Skin cancer is the most common type, affecting more individuals each year than every other cancer combined. While the survival rate of skin cancer is extremely high, it must be treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes or other organs. If it is not, poses significant risks to your health.

Young woman seeing doctor for dermatological control

Skin Cancer Facts

One in five people is likely to develop some form of skin cancer before the age of 70. Nearly 9,500 individuals are diagnosed with skin cancer every day, meaning that over three million Americans are diagnosed every year. While there are multiple forms of skin cancer, the most common are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. While melanoma is considered to be the most dangerous type, each one poses a threat and needs to be treated as early as possible.

What Causes Skin Cancer

While some skin cancers develop from the existence of moles, the majority of cases are caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation. UV radiation penetrates the top layers of the skin and reaches the deeper layers of the dermis, causing irreversible damage to the cells. Skin cancer develops when the damaged cells are unable to repair themselves.

What Are the Signs of Skin Cancer?

While skin cancer can be very serious, it is treatable and survivable when detected early. Your doctor will perform skin checks during your routine appointments but most skin cancers are identified by the patient. Skin cancer is easily identified when you know what to look for.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. It typically develops on the areas of the body that get the most sun, such as the face, head, and neck. You should watch for:

  • Raised red patches that may itch
  • Flat and firm yellow areas
  • Translucent, pearly bumps on the skin
  • Pink growths with raised edges
  • Open sores that do not heal

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinomas are similar to basal cell carcinomas in that they frequently develop on locations that see considerable amounts of sun. Common signs of squamous cell carcinoma include:

  • Raised growths or lumps
  • Rough or scaly red patches
  • Open and oozing sores
  • Wart-like growths 


Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer because it is the type that has the highest risk of spreading to the lymph nodes and other organs. Melanoma is often identified by the irregular shape and color of a growth. Not to be confused with moles or birthmarks, melanomas often appear:

  • Asymmetrical, with one side being larger than the other
  • To have irregular, notched, or blurred borders,
  • To have multiple colors, such as brown, black, pink, red, white, or blue
  • Larger than a ¼ inch
  • To change their shape, size, or color

How Can You Protect Yourself?

To best protect yourself from skin cancer, you should:

  • Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen
  • Avoid tanning beds
  • Perform self-checks by examining your skin in a well-lit room
  • See your doctor immediately if you notice any new spots, spots that look different from others on your body, or sores that do not heal

To learn more about the risks of skin cancer, contact Dr. Hung by calling his Pasadena office at (626) 432-5032, his Newport Beach office at (949) 574-8292, or by filling out his online contact form.