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Skin Cancer 101 by Twin Ports Dermatology Founder, Heather Smith

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US, affecting millions every year. You probably know someone who has had skin cancer removed. When caught early, it can usually be removed completely. Nationally Certified Physician’s Assistant and Twin Ports Dermatology Founder Heather Smith is here to share valuable information to help you stay safe. 

Heather Smith Talks About Skin Cancer

There are a few things Heather wants you to understand about skin cancer. First, many people assume that because skin cancer is treatable, it is not serious. The truth is that although skin cancer isn’t commonly life threatening, it can lead to many unfortunate situations such as scarring, disfigurement, and financial burdens. As Heather tells patients every day, prevention is the best form of medicine.  

Skin Cancer Duluth

*individual results may vary.

What’s The Best Way to Prevent Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer occurs when the DNA in your skin cells is damaged. The biggest cause of that damage is sun exposure. Heather suggests several of her favorite sun protection products but can also help you develop a customized skin protection plan. 


A quality SPF product is the first line of protection against skin cancer. Not only do you need one, but you also need to apply it according to instructions. Most need to be applied every two hours for continued protection. In addition to sunscreen, you can increase your sun protection with SPF clothing, such as the options from Coolibar


Heliocare is a supplement made from a fern extract. When taken orally, it adds about SPF 8. This gives you another layer of protection against UV damage, and it’s easy to add to your daily routine for a boost of safety and reassurance. 

Checking Your Skin

Check your skin on a regular basis. Even better, check your partner’s skin and have them check you. Look at the skin all over your body. Heather reminds people you can get skin cancer in places not exposed to the sun. Checking your skin regularly makes it more likely that you will notice something unusual. 

Request a Consultation Today!

Our expert providers here at Twin Ports Dermatology would be happy to meet with you for an in-person consultation. Simply fill out the form on this page, and one of our trusted staff members will reach out to you promptly to schedule your consultation.

What to Look For during a Self Skin Cancer Check

You may be fairly familiar with most of your moles, birthmarks, and other odd spots. If these have been with you for many years and never changed, they are probably no cause for concern. It’s time to see a specialist like Heather when those spots change or something new appears. 

Dermatologists have developed the ABCDE guide to help you check your moles:


A: an asymmetrical mole

B: a mole with a blurred or uneven border

C: a mole with more than one color

D: a mole larger than ¼ inch

E: a mole that evolves and changes


If you notice any of these during a self skin check, immediately show it to a skin professional. Heather understands no one knows your skin better than you, so if you have concerns, never hesitate to share them. 


*individual results may vary


Take the First Step - Request A Consultation

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If you would like to schedule an in-person consultation, please fill out the form on this page and one of our knowledgeable medical staff members at Twin Ports Dermatology will reach out to you promptly. You can also call our Duluth, MN office directly to schedule: 218-302-1000.

Twin Ports Dermatology serves the greater Duluth area. We’re the only locally owned private dermatology clinic & medspa in the area.

*Individual results may vary