What Changes to the Skin Indicate Skin Cancer?

May 15, 2023

What Changes to the Skin Indicate Skin Cancer?

Cancer is a scary situation, no matter what type you are diagnosed with. While some forms can be treated more easily than others, it is still a stressful situation for all involved.

This is certainly true when it comes to skin cancer. Anyone can develop skin cancer, and it can appear on any part of your body, so it is important to be aware of any skin changes and act quickly after a new discovery.

Our AFC Urgent Care Monroe Road team is dedicated to your health, so we explain the signs of a potential skin cancer issue below.

Is All Skin Cancer the Same?

There are actually three different types of skin cancer that you can develop. They are called basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cell are most often found on parts of your body that are exposed to the sun often, like your neck and face. These spots can appear as a waxy bump, a red nodule or a bleeding sore that will heal but then continually break open.

Melanoma can appear anywhere on your body, even parts that rarely see the sun. It can grow on an unsuspecting patch of skin or through a mole on your body. Melanoma can be a brown patch, a painful lesion or the appearance of a new mole or change to an existing one.

Skin Changes to Watch

  • A new change to your skin, like a growth or sore
  • A mole that changes in size or color
  • Skin itchiness
  • The appearance of a lump under the skin

What Can I Do to Prevent Skin Cancer?

UV light exposure is the most common reason for skin cancer, so respecting the sun is your most important goal. You should be wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 whenever you are outside, and try to wear clothes that protect your skin, like a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and long sleeves when appropriate.

You should also stop using tanning beds altogether. UV rays are never safe for your body, so direct exposure like that is only increasing your risk of developing skin cancer at some point. If you do notice a new spot or change to your skin, act quickly to prevent it from spreading.

What to Do for a Sunburn

  • Apply a cool, wet cloth to the skin.
  • Apply aloe gel or a moisturizing lotion.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Stay out of the sun while the burn heals.

Sun safety is crucial throughout your life. If you notice a change to your skin, come see us at AFC Urgent Care Monroe Road.

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