Skin sores are more common than you may think. However, if you have a sore that persists and never seems to fully heal, It could signal something more serious. If you ever have any doubts about the condition of your skin, it’s best to see a board-certified dermatologist like the skilled professionals at Associated Dermatologists.
Before you worry that you could have skin cancer though, let us help you get a more clear understanding of the signs and symptoms that you should look out for!
Symptoms of Basal Cell Carcinoma
A spot or sore that doesn’t fully heal.
As mentioned above, skin sores are extremely common, but if it’s been there for 4 weeks with no signs of improvement or healing, you should definitely get your sore checked. Sores that are itchy, crusty, bleed, or hurt for more than 4 weeks, and/or are recurrent should be brought to the attention of a trusted dermatologist. Always err on the side of caution.
A pearly bump on your skin.
In some rare cases, basal cell carcinoma can appear as a small, slow-growing, shiny, pink or red bump on your skin. When a bump is in question, see your skin specialist.
Red scaly patches on your skin that won’t go away.
If you have red patches or areas of skin that are itchy and a little tender to touch, be sure to get it checked out. This isn’t always a sign of skin cancer, but it should be checked if it doesn’t go away.
A mole that has significantly changed in appearance.
If you notice that any mole that has changed color or if it has become larger, it could possibly be a sign of skin cancer. So, be sure to get any mole that has changed in size, shape, or color checked. Also, another warning sign to look out for is a mole that has multiple or unusual colors like red, white, blue, or black.
The sudden appearance of a new mole when you’re at an age where getting new moles is unusual.
Having new moles at a certain age of maturity is not a common thing. Although there’s really no specific cut off date, any new mole that suddenly comes up should always be checked to ensure it that it isn’t cancerous.
A mole that itches and bleeds.
If you injured your mole and it bled, there’s nothing to worry about. However, if you find that a mole begins to bleed and itch for no reason, definitely have it checked out.
A suspicious spot on a body part that isn’t exposed to the sun.
It has been known for quite some time that sun exposure is definitely the most common risk factor for skin cancer. But even parts of your body that are hidden from the sun can be at risk due to genetic mutations. So, be sure to pay attention to all unusual spots on your skin.
UV or sun exposure is considered the main, but preventable cause of this dreadful disease. So here are a few tips from Associated Dermatologists to stay safe under the sun.
- Wear light-colored clothing that covers your arms and legs when you plan to spend a prolonged period of time in the sun, and also wear a hat to shield your face, nose, and ears from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.
- Protect your eyes with UV protective sunglasses.
- Always wear sunscreen.
- Avoid sitting in the direct sunlight between 11 am to 3 pm. If you have fair skin, this is strongly advised.
It’s a good practice to check all areas of your skin regularly, and if you have any areas of your skin that you are unsure of, please go see your dermatologist as soon as possible. Early detection of skin cancer is essential because if it’s caught soon enough, it can be cured.