Tanya Kormeili, MD Dermatology
Medical, Surgical, Cosmetic

Dr. Kormeili MD of Santa Monica Dermatology Group Los Angeles, CA, dermatoligist offers services for cosmetic, surgical and medical dermatology devoted to healthy, beautiful skin for life.

1260 Fifteenth Street,
Suite 709
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Appt (310) 917-4433
Fax   (310) 917-4432

SKIN CANCERS

Summer may be over but skin damage is here to stay!

Skin Cancer: What Should I Be Looking For?

You might wonder how can a dermatologist save a life – right?! The answer skin cancers – we find them, we treat them, and, working with our patients, we can make the difference between life and… not.

So what should you be looking for? There are a few easy guidelines to help you. Any sore that does not heal, ulcerates or starts to grow can be suspicious for skin cancer. Scaly rough spots can be actinic keratosis (pre cancers) and also need to be evaluated. Additionally, moles that are asymmetric in their color, shape, borders or are growing fast can be worrisome. Look at your skin closely – be proactive!  Make sure you know the ABCDE of spotting dangerous skin changes.

As always, dermatologists are the experts – if you are not sure, just ask us!  To contact Dr. Kormeili’s office for a prompt appointment, just click here.

Below is a bit more information about the types of skin cancers and what you might want to know about them.

Types of Skin Tumors

There are many types of skin tumors. The most common three include:

-basal cell carcinoma

-squamous cell carcinoma

-malignant melanoma

Each of these cancers originates from a different layer of the skin.

Let’s start with the most dangerous: Melanomas. Melanocytes are the cells that turn malignant in melanomas. Melanocytes migrate to the skin from the neurocrest during embryogenesis. They are responsible for the color of our skin and moles. Melanomas can be “de novo” which means they start off as melanoma cancers or they can result of malignant changes within an already existing mole. Moles can become “dysplastic” which means they do not look completely healthy under the microscope, but not a true cancer yet. Though there is some controversy, most dermatologists believe that dysplastic moles can become further mutated and turn into melanomas. The gold standard of treatment for melanomas is surgery.

Basal cell carcinoma comes from the basal cells of the epidermis. They are the least aggressive of the skin tumors listed above. Most lesions never metastasize (which means to leave the skin and disseminate within the body). Basal cell skin cancers are usually described as “pearly” because of their shiny surface with dilated blood vessels on top.

Squamous cell carcinoma comes from the squamous cell layer of the epidermis. Squamous cells have the potential to invade deeper and have a higher potential for metastasis. Patients with poor immunity, organ transplants and those who get squamous cell cancers on the lip, mucosa or within an old scar (Marjolin ulcer) are especially at risk for more aggressive tumors. Actinic keratosis (scaly red spots) are pre-skin cancers that, if left untreated, can turn into squamous cell carcinomas. Squamous cell carcinomas often present as non-healing sores, scaly plaques or bumps.

Basal cell carcinomas and Squamous cell carcinomas can be treated in various ways from topical treatments, curettage and desiccation, to surgery and Mohs surgery, depending on the size, location, tumor type, and other factors.

Again, only a qualified medical professional can evaluate whether a skin cancer exists.  Please know that this website is for informational purposes only, and you deserve a personal medical evaluation to determine the best treatment for your skin!  Please contact Dr. Kormeili’s office to schedule a consultation or your routine skin cancer check!


I had rosacea that caused redness and broken vessels on my face. Dr. Kormeili addressed all of my concerns and set about fixing the redness. I was super excited after my first laser treatment as the improvement was immediately noticeable. The second laser treatment made me look and feel amazing...

~N.F., La Habra

I had really bad psoriasis on my scalp that flaked all over my clothes, and it was so embarrassing to sit on board meetings in a black suite with white flakes. My entire attention was on my flakes, and worried what people were thinking when they looked at me, or got close to me at work...

~J.A. Los Angeles

Dr. Kormeili is the BEST!! I have a horrible phobia of needles and she calmed my nerves and had an extremely gentle touch. Painless office visit!

~C.E. Los Angeles

Whereever Dr. Kormeili goes, my mom and I follow her. I highly recommend her. My visits are always a great experience.

~M. I., Santa Monica

I started seeing the sad signs of aging. I come all the way from Italy, 3 times a year to get Botox, fillers… and of course my VI Peels. I have seen a huge difference. Dr. Kormeili is the best! I love her!!!

~M. I., Italy

I had multiple warts on my hands and legs for the past 5 years. It was just something I learned to live with. I moved so sunny Los Angeles and decided it was time to take care of this embarrassing problem. I had appt’s with a few dermatologists, but once I found Dr. Kormeili I knew I wanted her to treat me...

~M.L., Los Angeles

Excellent. Office staff are kind and barely any wait time. Easy to make appointments and amazing friendly/intelligent dermatologist!

~M. L., Santa Monica

Dr. Kormeili is a remarkable person and an amazing doctor. She’s exact, focused and thorough, and treats you like one of the family. The results of my treatments were beyond my expectations.

~C.S., Santa Monica

I had sun damaged skin with several sun spots on my face. My entire attention was on my face, and I worried what people were thinking when they looked at me. I’m a vice president in banking and image is very important especially in the leadership role I am in. I saw Dr. Kormeili 4 months ago...

~M.M., Torrence

I absolutely love this Dr. She is so honest. My skin looks great and I feel so happy with her service and recommendations.

~M.M. Santa Monica

I was working a lot and very stressed out. One day I looked up in the mirror and I had look like I had aged about 10 years and as a woman we like to stay looking young. So a friend referred me to Dr. Kormeili for a little Botox and fillers. She was great! She took care of everything that was bothering me and then some...

~D.E., Whittier

How can someone be sad around Dr. Kormeili? She is a burst of sunshine but most of all she cares about her patients. Dr. Kormeili knew and worked on my husband before he recently passed away. He would rave about her care and skill when he had work on his face done by her. I went to Dr. Kormeili after my husband passed away...

~S.L. Los Angeles

I started seeing the sad signs of aging. I come all the way from Italy, 3 times a year to get Botox, fillers… and of course my VI Peels. I have seen a huge difference. Dr. Kormeili is the best! I love her!!!

~M. I., Italy

I had been taking antibiotic medicines for over 2 years to help control my acne; once I was prescribed Accutane in less than 3 months my face was completely gone. Of course before taking Accutane I was constantly aware of my skin, always trying to find ways to hide it and sometimes it got so hard I didn’t even want to go to school....

~C.J., Los Angeles

SHE IS THE BEST! Considerate, compassionate and thoroughly professional.

~V.L. Santa Monica

Sexual intercourse is such an integral part of a happy marriage. After months of “grin and bear it” with vaginal irritation, I mentioned my problem of having intercourse to my primary care doctor and then to my OBGYN. The good news was that the biopsy was not cancerous, however the bad news was that it was lichen...

~-- (Anonymous)

I started seeing the sad signs of aging. I come all the way from Italy, 3 times a year to get Botox, fillers… and of course my VI Peels. I have seen a huge difference. Dr. Kormeili is the best! I love her!!!

~M. I., Italy

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