Hopefully, you are regularly checking your body for signs of skin cancer. Common symptoms of…
Be aware: The Early Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. Given this statistic, it’s safe to say that every single person should be aware of the early signs and symptoms in order to protect themselves and have the ability to detect it as early as possible.
The thing with skin cancer is that it doesn’t often cause worrisome symptoms until it grows larger, but most people are well aware of the issue long before it reaches this point. Most skin cancers can go undetected, so it’s important to schedule annual skin cancer screenings with your dermatologist. Our providers are here to provide skin cancer prevention tips, as well as treatment options, when you need us.
The Warning Signs of the Three Major Types of Skin Cancer
Below, we’ll go over what you need to know about the the most common types of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma skin cancer – and the tell-tale signs that something serious may be going on within your skin.
Basal Cell Carcinoma Symptoms
Basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, is sneaky because it doesn’t always appear super alarming. For many, it can look like an ordinary pimple or even a harmless patch of eczema, typically on the face, head, or neck.
When what appears to be a common skin condition doesn’t go away, keeps bleeding, breaking open, or getting irritated, that’s your clue that something more serious, like skin cancer, may be lurking, and it’s time to head to the dermatologist.
Early Signs of Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The signs of squamous cell carcinoma are very similar to those of basal cell. Squamous cell can show itself anywhere on the body, though the face, ear, neck, lips, and backs of the hands are common areas.
It usually appears as a red or pink scaly patch or growth that looks like a wart, but it’s also known to project out and have more of a crust associated with it.
Again, if you suspect that you’ve developed squamous cell carcinoma and the skin growth or lesion doesn’t heal after a few weeks, it’s a good idea to get it checked out by a doctor.
The Signs and Symptoms of Melanoma Skin Cancer
Melanoma can appear quickly over the course of a couple of months and usually presents as a dark brown to black-colored spot or bump though very rarely it may appear pink.
There’s also a good percentage of melanoma that starts as a mole that transitions into melanoma, and in this case, it can either be a new or existing mole.
When You Should See a Dermatologist
Whenever you notice any changes in the skin, it’s never a bad idea to have a dermatologist take a look. While it could be an ordinary pimple or a regular old mole, in the instance that it’s not, you’re giving yourself the best possible chance at catching skin cancer in its earliest stages, when there are better treatment options.
Essentially, knowing the early signs and catching it early can make a world of difference when it comes to a successful treatment. Remember, avoiding sun exposure, using sun protection, being aware of skin cancer risk factors, and scheduling annual skin cancer screenings are ways to help protect yourself from developing skin cancer. Contact our board-certified dermatologists today.
Contact Center of Surgical Dermatology in Westerville, OH for more information on the early signs and symptoms of skin cancer.
Center of Surgical Dermatology is the largest medical and surgical skin treatment and wellness facility in Central Ohio. Since 2007, our board-certified Dermatologists, fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons, and caring professional staff have provided patients with the treatment they can trust in an environment second to none. Learn more about our state-of-the-art Dermatology Center before booking your appointment today.