You don't have to be a sun worshipper to be susceptible to skin cancer. Most everyone gets exposed to the sun daily from driving, walking down the street, and doing outdoor chores, like gardening, raking leaves, and taking out the trash. While wearing a sunscreen with a high SPF level is a good preventative measure, simply wearing sunscreen is not an absolute guarantee that you won't develop some type of skin cancer. The good news is that skin cancer, while the most common type of cancer, is one of the most treatable, when caught early. That's why it's important to know the signs of skin cancer, so you can visit a dermatologist to have any irregularity assessed.
Early signs of skin cancer
1. A sore that doesn't heal. One of the most common early signs of skin cancer is a sore that doesn't heal in a timely manner or that keeps reopening. Such a sore should be checked out by a dermatologist.
2. A large mole or one that changes shape or texture. Moles can also be suspect, especially those with a diameter greater than 1/4" or that grow suddenly or change their shape. Keep in mind that not all moles are raised. Some are flat or almost flat against the skin.
3. A rough scaly patch that may bleed. Another sign of skin cancer is rough, scaly skin that may or may not bleed. This is most commonly found on your arms, legs, shoulder or face, but can be located anywhere on the body.
4. Red dome-like nodules. Small, red, dome-like nodules can be a sign of squamous cell carcinoma, also known as Bowen's disease, another form of skin cancer. Though easy and painless to treat early, this type of skin cancer can be serious if ignored.
5. Any significant, unexplained change in your skin. Your skin is always changing, and no one knows it more intimately than you do. If you notice any significant change that can't be explained, it's a good idea to have that change evaluated by a skin doctor.
While it's virtually impossible to absolutely prevent skin cancer, short of staying locked up in your home 24/7, there are signs you should look out for so that you can catch skin cancer in its early stages. If you have a sore that doesn't heal, a large mole or one that changes size or shape, or rough, scaly patches that may bleed, it's time to make an appointment with your dermatologist.
For more information, contact Strnot Dermatology or a similar location.