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Signs of Skin Cancer to Look For

by EmmaSturgis

Skin cancer is a dangerous condition that affects over two million people in the United States. It is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. and can arise on any skin surface, with or without exposure to sunlight. It can also occur in areas of your body that are rarely exposed to sunlight, such as the “hidden” side of your scalp. Although it is common and can arise on any skin surface, it is most frequently found on the face (such as a mole or freckle), lips, ears (the area behind the ear), hands, and backs of the hands. Other areas include skin folds and moles that have been present for several years. Here are signs of skin cancer you need to know about.

A New Red Spot

This is one of the most common symptoms of skin cancer. However, any new red spot or sore can be a sign of skin cancer, no matter the size or shape. A new red spot is often different from other moles and will bleed if you try to remove it. It may also appear to get larger over time. If you notice any of these symptoms (as well as others), schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. You can visit a center like Advanced Dermatology of Northern California for diagnosis and treatment options.

A Mole or Freckle That Has Changed Color or Shape

Any changes in your existing moles and freckles need to be noted. It is normal for a mole, especially an older person, to change color over time. However, if it is changing in size, shape, or texture and you are unsure whether it needs to see a doctor for inspection and possible removal, schedule an appointment immediately.

A New Bump

Any new “bump” that is bigger than the surrounding area needs to be examined by a doctor. When cancerous cells are present, they become larger and redder before they are visible to the naked eye. One of the most common locations for skin cancer is on areas of the body that have been damaged by sun exposure.

Excessive Bleeding, Itching, or Scaling of the Skin

A doctor needs to evaluate skin changes such as itching, bleeding, or scaling. These changes can be normal and may even be associated with certain medications you are taking. However, if the irritation is severe enough that you need to see a doctor for assessment and possible treatment, do so immediately.

These changes are just a few of the symptoms of skin cancer. If you notice any concerning changes in your skin, see your doctor immediately. Early detection is the key to successful treatment. Time is very important in treating this condition, so do not wait to see a doctor if you have any concerns about your skin and its appearance.

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