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Skin Cancer Treatments Outnumber Cosmetic Procedures

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) put out its 2018 Survey on Dermatologic Procedures. It reported that skin cancer surgeries are the most often done procedures by their dermatology surgeons. That comes out to 3.5 million skin cancer surgeries done each year. The findings suggest that skin cancer is on the rise. But, it could also mean that finding and treating skin cancer is easier these days with more medical and technological knowledge, therefore more procedures are done.

Melanoma increases

The rates of melanoma increased almost 20% in 20181 compared to 2017. Rates of melanoma have gone up 56% in the last 7 years.2 Treatments for sun-damaged skin, including laser and light therapy, were up 29% according to the study. Remember, it is important to wear sunscreen, a hat and protective clothing as well as limit exposure to the sun. This includes lying out in the sun and the use of tanning beds.1-2


The ASDSA, the advocacy part of the ASDS, is involved in lobbying for “SUNucate” legislation. It permits children to use sunscreen at school or camp without a note or prescription from their physician. Twenty-two states have currently passed SUNucate models. The goal is to take a strategic approach to good skin health. Sun-safe behaviors combined with education, early detection, and continued research provide the best hope for reducing harmful effects of excessive exposure to the sun.1-2

Awareness is important!

Awareness is important in the prevention and treatment of skin cancer. Education can help people make better lifestyle choices. Covering up and using sunscreen helps to prevent skin cancer. It also reduces the harsh aging effects that sun exposure has on the skin.1-2

Cosmetic procedures are also growing

Cosmetic procedures are also increasing at a steady rate. Injectable wrinkle-relaxers and soft tissue fillers (like lip fillers), body sculpting treatments including fat freezing and muscle-sculpting procedures, as well as chemical peels—lead a lineup of other procedures performed by doctors in the ASDS1-2

Does anyone feel comfortable sharing the dermatologic procedure they’ve had in the comments?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. ASDS Members Performed More Than 12.5 Million Treatments in 2018
  2. Dancer R. Skin Cancer Procedures Outnumbered Cosmetic Dermatology Treatments in 2018. Available at: Accessed 10/1/19.