Treating skin cancer isn't as straightforward as it might seem. It's often a multi-step process that leaves its mark. In a photo she posted on Instagram this week, Melanie Griffith showed that she just underwent the final step in managing her skin cancer after treatment: dermabrasion.
"Bandaged again after having dermabrasion, the final step to fix the now removed basil cell skin cancer," Griffith wrote. "If any of you have it, get it fixed."
Dermabrasion is a process in which a dermatologist used specialized tools to remove the upper layer of skin, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery explains.
Basal cell carcinoma, the type of cancer Griffith describes, affects the bottom of the outermost layer of skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. It shows up as an odd bump, a reddish patch of scratchy skin, or a waxy scar-like area of skin that doesn't heal, usually on a part of your body that gets a lot of sun. The right treatment for you depends on the size and location of the cancer and may include freezing the cancer cells or surgery to remove them, the Mayo Clinic says.
After treatment, there may be some scarring, which is where the dermabrasion comes in. This may be done to smooth out the skin after treatment or, in some cases, even as part of treatment to remove precancerous patches of skin.
But the best thing you can do is prevent skin cancer in the first place. "If you lay in the sun, are exposed to lots of sun, be CAREFUL," Griffith wrote in the caption. "Use sun screen. Get checked out by your Dermatolgist. If you don’t have one, get one, or go to your nearest clinic and ask to be tested for it."