Throughout our lives, many of us have been told to monitor the moles on our bodies and look out for spots that are dark, large, or evolving over time, as these are signs of Malignant Melanoma.
It’s important to be aware of these, as Melanoma can be deadly, even for young people, and especially for those with a history of tanning. But it is also important to learn about the warning signs of the two most common, non-melanoma type, skin cancers: Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Carcinomas.
These types of skin cancers are primarily related to sun-damage and our previous sun exposure throughout our lives. Although it is an excellent practice to check the moles on our bodies for melanoma risks, don’t overlook things that indicate the risk for developing these other types of skin cancer.
Continue reading to learn about 4 common signs of skin cancer and when you may want to consider visiting your dermatology provider.
Skin cancers such as Basal Cell Carcinoma or Squamous Cell Carcinoma often begin as a pimple or wound that doesn’t seem to be healing normally. Normal acne pimples or common scratches or scars, generally heal within a week or two, depending on the severity. If you have a peculiar lesion that has taken longer than several weeks or months to heal, it is time to visit your dermatology provider.
2. Easy Bleeding
Unprovoked bleeding of pimple or scratch-like lesions raises much suspicion in the world of dermatology. It is not uncommon for spots on our skin to bleed after being itched or picked at, but, if you have a spot that bleeds in the middle of the night, when you are washing your face, or when it is lightly bumped, you should consider seeing your dermatologist as soon as possible. The tissue of Basal and Squamous cell skin cancers is abnormal, thus very delicate and easily injured.
3. ABCDE’s of Melanoma
During skin cancer visit, we like to educate all of our patients of the warning signs of Melanoma—Asymmetrical, Irregular Border, Non-uniform Color, Diameter larger than the size of a pencil eraser, and Evolving (changing) over time. It is a red flag of an abnormal mole or melanoma if you notice a mole with any of those warning signs. If you are ever questioning a mole or just want to be on the safe side, schedule an appointment with your dermatology provider.
You’re better off being told you have healthy moles instead of finding out you’ve allowed a Malignant Melanoma to stay and grow larger by not getting your concerns checked.
It is important to know that experiencing one of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have an abnormal mole or melanoma. For example, perfectly healthy moles can grow over time as your body grows and may be much larger than a pencil eraser. However, a person should be suspicious if they have a lesion that falls under these 5 warning signs, and more so with more than one of these signs.
4. Change in Sensation
Change in sensation of a preexisting lesion is an uncommon sign of a skin cancer. If you have a spot that has recently started itching or become tender or painful, you should watch and monitor the spot for changes. If the condition persists for a few weeks or more, you should visit a dermatologist. However, don’t be falsely reassured if you have a non-healing spot or suspicious mole, as many times, there is no change in sensation.
The first step is preventing skin cancer is learning the warning signs and monitoring your skin every month. The dermatology providers at Advanced Dermatology Care recommend all adults to have a full-body skin cancer exam once per year and to visit the clinic in between annual visit with any new concerns.
For More Information
Advanced Dermatology Care is now offering personalized sun correction plans for patients. Schedule an appointment today to learn about the best ways to correct sun damage you have acquire throughout your life, and learn how to prevent further sun damage. Call us at 651-484-2724 to schedule.