Top Skin Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Caring for your skin can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with new and perhaps even scary symptoms. Could it be sun damage, acne scar, benign growth, or do you have cancer? A minor rash, especially one that lingers, can worry you. Seeking Madison skin cancer diagnosis is important and should be top of your priorities. Routine visits can help catch a problem before it develops and demands more intensive treatments, including surgery. If you are concerned about your skin’s tells, here are the common signs and symptoms that could indicate skin cancer.

Change in the mole’s appearance

Moles are common, benign, and usually harmless. Nonetheless, they may start to develop into cancer, referred to as melanoma. Melanoma grows fast and is life-threatening. Melanoma looks like a regular mole but has a few essential distinctions, which you can easily detect using the ABCDE method.

  • Asymmetry: One-half of the mole looks distinct from the other half
  • Border: The mole has a blurry, irregular, and uneven edge
  • Color: The mole has several unusual colors.
  • Diameter: The mole’s diameter is roughly greater than a pencil
  • Evolving: The mole changes characteristics like color, shape, and size
  • Firm: The mole is firmer than the encircling skin and is hard to the touch
  • Growing: The mole is continuously getting bigger

If you spot such changes, it is essential to have the mole checked and, if necessary, removed before. 

Itchy, reddish, and oozing patches

We all get rashes, whether it is poison oak, contact dermatitis, poison ivy, or even sensitive skin. A rash may not necessarily be a sign of cancer. However, developing raised, red-like patches that don’t go away could indicate basal cell carcinoma. You may need to check if it starts to feel itchy, changes appearance, and oozes. You may also experience the following:

  • Flat with yellow patches
  • Open sores that do not heal
  • A pink growth with raised edges

Skin color change after mole removal

After the mole is removed, it is natural to assume that you are no longer at risk for skin cancer. But the cancer cells can be found much deeper into the skin surface. Any pigmentation and unusual spots on or around the scar should be examined if the mole is removed. 

Lumpiness and bumpiness

When you notice red, pink, or purple bumps or lumps on your skin, this could signify Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC). Merkel can start anywhere on the body. MCC usually do not hurt and are painless, but they overgrow and can open up as sores or ulcers. MCC is one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer.

Scaly patches 

Some types of skin cancer cause patches on the skin to feel rough, scaly, and dry when touched. Sometimes these patches may also be discolored. It could be skin cancer if part of your skin stays scaly and rough even after applying moisturizing products. 

Changes in your finger and toenails 

Skin cancer may start anywhere, including under your toes and fingernails. Melanoma appears as discolored black or brown streaks in the nail. They may also be present for a while before they start causing discomfort or pain. Although this can also be a sign of fungal infections, it’s better to get checked. 

Lesions

Whether slightly raised, flat, or large enough to be considered a bump, lesions that develop on the face and legs take on red, purple, or brown coloring, which may signal Kaposi Sarcoma (KS). Lesions are neither itchy nor painful, and they appear as spots on the skin.

Skin cancer can affect the natural look of your skin. The good news is that when detected early, you can start treatment immediately and stop it in its tracks. Contact or visit Ray Sheppard, MD General Surgery today, to learn more about skin cancer and its various signs.

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