The 7 Skin Cancer Warning Signs can be understated and hard to identify as such, which can lead to a delayed diagnosis. Consequently, sometimes the problem is not discovered until it has become extremely serious or even fatal. Knowing the 7 most common indications of skin cancer is the best way to be certain that you will detect it early and it get to a doctor so that it can be diagnosed.
7 Skin Cancer Warning Signs
If a lesion or mole changes its appearance, that is the easiest way to realize that there may be a problem. Many people know that melanoma is the rarest of the types of skin cancers, but what they don’t know is that it is also the most fatal. The first sign of melanoma is frequently a mole, but if you look closely, it can be detected as possibly cancerous by certain characteristics.
- Border — The edges of the lesion or mole are unclear, or ragged, and may perhaps have even spread into the nearby skin.
- Asymmetry — The lesion or mole doesn’t have matching halves. The shape is distorted.
- Color — Uneven color is a cause for worry. Various colors like brown, black, white, tan, grey, red, or pink are cause for concern too.
- Size — A change in size which can go either way from growing larger to shrinking.
Skin Changes After Mole Removal
Just because you’ve had a mole removed doesn’t mean that you are out of the woods. Cancer cells have the ability to get deep into the skin, so removing the mole isn’t necessarily the end of the cancer. Examine the scar from removal daily and report any unusual colors or spots that show up to your doctor.
Toenail and Fingernail Changes
Like a clever thief skin cancer can turn up in areas you would never expect, like underneath your toenails or fingernails. In these cases, it is most often melanoma causing the changes, and it can be seen as dark streaks or spots beneath the nail.
People don’t usually know this, but melanoma can occur inside of your eyes. This type of melanoma is called Ocular Melanoma (OM) and can be hard to diagnose until it has reached the later stages.
The most dependable method of staying on top of this type of melanoma is to have regular eye examinations.
Pimples or Sores That Don’t Go Away
There are times when skin cancer can turn up as a red or pink bump that resembles a pimple. The difference is that this particular pimple will not go away. Furthermore, skin cancer can also manifest itself as sores and ulcers that fail to eventually heal.
Rough, Scaly Patches of Skin
Certain kinds of skin cancer show up as rough, dry, or scaly areas of skin. Apply moisturizers and if the skin stays rough or scaly, this could be an indication of skin cancer. It may be a lesion referred to as Actinic Keratosis (AK), which is an indicator of Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). These lesions normally show up on areas of the body that have the most exposure to sunlight.
Have an itchy feeling that will not go away no matter how hard you scratch. It can be a sign of skin cancer. Frequently, this type of itching is erroneously thought to be the result of a bug bite, lesion, or mole. If the itching is also paired by a change in appearance to the area of the skin, see your doctor.