Signs of Skin Cancer You Shouldn’t Ignore
To catch skin cancer early, it is vital to pay attention to any changes in your moles or freckles or the appearance of new ones. Learn what to look for in this article.
When it comes to protecting their skin from sun damage and skin cancer, many people don’t take the necessary precautions.
Among the things you should be most careful about to avoid skin cancer, the most important is watching your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays.
These rays can do significant damage to your skin, much more than just wrinkles and age spots.
Today, we’d like to tell you a little more about this disease and how you can help prevent it.
Kinds of skin cancer
Before talking about signs of skin cancer that you shouldn’t ignore, you should know that there are two types of skin cancer: melanoma and non-melanoma.
- Melanoma is the most aggressive skin cancer, but is also the rarest. The risk is that it tends to start in the deepest layers of your skin. When this type of cancer appears, it can spread to other areas or organs.
- As for non-melanoma skin cancers, they produce changes at the cell level and are the most common and least aggressive. These often appear in the middle and top layers of skin, making them rather easy to spot.
Non-melanoma cancer is usually treated by a small operation that removes all abnormal cells, so it’s easy to treat.
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Signs of melanoma
We all have freckles and moles, so you needn’t worry about them. Freckles and moles are considered benign skin lesions formed by cells that synthesize skin color.
However, if you notice that you’re suddenly getting a lot of moles or freckles or that the ones that you’ve always had have begun to change, it’s a good idea to see a dermatologist.
Changes you should watch out for go with the letters A, B, C, D, and E.
A for Asymmetry
It can be somewhat hard to see if a mole is asymmetric, but you can try dividing it with a piece of tape.
When you’ve divided it into two, compare the sides. If they’re not equal, it could be a sign of skin cancer.
B for Borders (Irregular Borders)
A normal mole or freckle has smooth, regular edges. If they’re irregular, jagged, or blurry, you should look for the other signs.
It’s very important not to ignore this sign.
C for Color
Moles and freckles come in many colors: red, white, brown, and black. If you’ve had it since birth, the color doesn’t matter much.
But if part of it or all of it changes color, that’s not normal; you should have your doctor look at it.
D for Diameter
If your mole or freckle is more than 1/4 inch across, it’s a good idea to have a dermatologist take a closer look.
Melanoma is often larger than this.
E for Evolution
Any change in an existing mole should be carefully examined.
This includes any change in size, shape, color, or if the mole starts bleeding for no apparent reason. It can even start to disappear.
The rate of change is very relative, which is why it’s important to know what your skin normally looks like so you can detect early signs.
Signs of non-melanoma skin cancer
Above, we said that melanoma is the most dangerous kind of skin cancer. However, you should never dismiss non-melanoma skin cancer.
When it comes to your health, you should be on top of any symptom before it becomes a bigger problem.
Some of the symptoms of non-melanoma skin cancer that you should watch out for are:
- Small, pale spots with visible blood cells.
- Red or irritated marks or areas around your chest and back.
- Open ulcers that bleed or scab.
- White lesions similar to scars that appear for no apparent reason.
- A red growth with a slight notch in the center.
- Scabbed over warts without having scratched them.
- Red, burning areas.
Read this, too: Home Scar and Wrinkle Treatment with Just Two Ingredients
How to prevent skin cancer
We know we can’t protect ourselves from all disease, especially when they’re associated with external factors, like the climate or the sun.
Luckily, you can, however, take a few steps to prevent problems from getting worse.
As for skin cancer, you should:
Avoid excessive sun exposure
Ideally, you shouldn’t spend more than two hours in the sun. If you’re going to be outside for a long time, look for a shady area or wear protective clothing.
Always use sun protection
Nowadays, there’s a wide variety of sun screens for every budget and preference. This is great, since it’s recommended to always leave the house protected.
Remember to apply it every two hours and preferably use one with at least 45 SPF.
Monitor your skin for any changes
The most important precaution will always be to watch out for changes. Know your body and examine it regularly.
If you see one of the above changes, see a dermatologist as soon as possible.
Now that you know these signs of skin cancer, it’s your job to be on the lookout for any possible variation in your skin. It may be a scary disease, but prevention is possible.