Unlike most cancers, skin cancer is, for the most part, very visible on your skin. This makes it easy to detect, which in turn means it’s quicker to treat. Malignancies may sometimes be difficult to differentiate from moles, cuts, cysts, and other relatively benign skin conditions. The primary difference is that they are atypical for your skin type, and have features under dermoscopy and pathology that confirm they are cancerous.
Unusual Dark Spots
This can be a sign of a specific type of skin cancer called ‘melanoma’, which is often mistaken for a mole. To tell the difference dermatologists use the ABCDEs. First, they will be asymmetrical, larger on one side than the other. They have an irregular or poorly defined border instead of being smooth and round. They are made of varying colors such as brown and blue. They may have evolving shapes, sizes, and colors as well.
Unusual Pink Patches
These can be a sign of either basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, two other types of skin cancers. Occasional redness and itching is normal, but one of the earliest warning signs for these two types of cancer is dry, rough, sometimes raised patches of skin that are usually red but can also be pink, brown, or match your skin tone. Squamous carcinoma can also develop in the mouth and genitals. They are often accompanied by sensitivity, itchiness, and even bleeding. Like melanoma, the spots for these cancers will also grow and change over time.
Dark lines, either thick or thin, that run along the length of a toenail or fingernail are indicators of melanoma. Dark streaks around or beneath the nail can be a harmless wart or some blood underneath the skin. But if they don’t go away, even after years, you should seek out medical dermatology in services Bucks County immediately. Other nail conditions can be indicators of other underlying conditions like psoriasis or fungal infection, as well as internal illnesses like heart or kidney disease.
Cuts, scrapes, and lacerations are easy to spot, though the cause may not be as obvious. The thing that makes signs of cancer stand out is that these spots won’t heal, even after extended periods of time. Sometimes they do heal and then return without explanation. It may bleed, ooze, or crust over. Often a patient believes they have a pimple that just won’t go away.
They’re most often mistaken for acne, cysts, moles, scars, warts, age spots, harmless growths, and freckles. They can be red, brown, or match your skin tone so the color alone is not reliable. This makes them very easy to miss, and you may need skin cancer treatment in Southampton, PA as a result. Cancerous areas can usually be determined by the texture and appearance of the area, making it stand out from the rest of your skin.
If you suspect you have early-stage skin cancer or you’re at high risk for developing it, it’s beneficial to have a Total Body Skin Examination. Pennsylvania Dermatology Specialists offer the best medical dermatology services in Bucks County, and we perform exceptionally thorough examinations for skin cancer. If we do find signs of it, we will work with you to determine the best possible skin cancer treatment to suit your individual needs while delivering the highest cure rate with the best functional and cosmetic outcomes. Contact us today by phone or email to schedule your appointment.