Skin Cancer Warning Signs and What to Do About Them

While prevention is the key to preventing skin cancer, there are some signs that can help you get an early diagnosis.
Skin Cancer Warning Signs and What to Do About Them

Last update: 26 October, 2018

Skin cancer is one of the most common tumors. Provided it’s detected early, it’s also really curable. That’s why it’s extremelly important to be aware of the main skin cancer warning signs.

Skin cancer has been on the rise in recent times. The main reason for this is a lack of common sense when it comes to ultraviolet rays exposure (be it solar or artificial through tanning beds).

The new beauty paradigm is having a “perfect tan.” Nowadays, people are obsessed with having tan skin year round, no matter if they have to get in tanning beds to achieve it.

However, this could lead to many problems….including skin cancer.

How to Prevent Skin Cancer

woman getting a mole examined

Most specialists agree that you shouldn’t shy away from the sun completely. You don’t even have to give up your dream of getting your desired tan.

The most important thing is to be responsible and worry about your own well-being.

People who go outside or work outside should apply sunscreen all the time.

You have to apply this product every day, not only when you go to the beach. The harmful action of ultraviolet rays is as lethal in cities or in the mountains as it is in the sea.

All athletes who practice outdoors in the sunshine should also take steps to protect their skin to prevent skin cancer.

We recommend that you read: How to Avoid Sunburn and Sun Damage

When at the Beach

Use Sunscreen

You must take extra care of your skin at the beach. Sunscreen must be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure.

You also have to reapply sunscreen every two hours, after getting out of the water, or after any kind of physical activity that makes you sweat a lot.

  • Using tanning beds all the time is unsafe and can cause the same problems as walking under the sun by the shore at noon without applying sunscreen. This means they can cause skin cancer.

Using certain clothing and accessories such as hats also protects the body from direct ultraviolet rays.

Moles and Melanomas

doctor looking at a woman's mole

Monitoring your moles is one of the most efficient ways to detect the possible onset of this disease.

You should definitely go see a doctor at the first sign of a perceptible change.

Keep in mind that some melanomas appear after a freckle doesn’t evolve as it should.

Some unwanted changes that moles may present are:

  • Increase in size
  • Asymmetrical shapes
  • Irregular edges

They may also begin to itch and bleed. In some cases, black or brown spots may begin to turn red, blue, or white.

Other Skin Cancer Warning Signs

Moles aren’t the only things on your skin you should keep an eye on. You should also be vigilant to new spots, bumps, sores, or changes in texture (rough or very smooth to the touch).

Areas that bleed at the slightest touch and wounds that don’t heal should also be checked by a specialist.

See also: 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Skin Cancer

Risk Factors Beyond UV Rays

skin cancer

Irresponsible exposure to sunlight or frequent use of tanning beds are the main causes of skin cancer.

However, these aren’t the only risk factors.

Other risk factors include:

  • Genetic predisposition.
  • Radiotherapy treatments.
  • An unbalanced diet also adversely affects the skin’s health as well as its ability to regenerate.
  • Smoking is another huge risk factor. Smoking at the beach at noon without protecting your skin increases the risk.
  • Avoid direct contact with very aggressive chemicals such as arsenic, tar, paraffin, and some industrial oils.
  • Skin lesions, inflammation, or burns, especially if they’re not treated properly.

Heat strokes can go from harmless, provided they are promptly treated by a specialist, to be a risk factor for skin cancer.

Early detection is the key to defeating the disease. Beyond any paranoid behavior, you should never ignore any possible warning sign.