Skin Cancer Signs to Look Out For

By Integrated Dermatology of West Palm Beach & of the Palm Beaches
September 21, 2015
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Skin Cancer  

Skin Cancer It’s important to always be checking your skin for potential signs of skin cancer.

It’s estimated that about one in five Americans will actually develop skin cancer at some point in their lifetime. As you can see, skin cancer is fairly common, so it’s important to know what to look for so you can see your West Palm Beach dermatologists Dr. Barry Kuttner, Dr. Kathleen Herne and Dr. Heather Houck right away. Here are some helpful hints for determining whether a suspicious spot could be skin cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma can appear as:

  • Raised red patches
  • Flat pale or yellow spots that look similar to a scar
  • Open sores that won’t heal (they may ooze or crust over)
  • Small pink or red shiny bumps
  • Pink growths with an indented center and raised edges

Squamous cell carcinomas can appear as:

  • Rough, scaly red patches (these patches might bleed or crust over)
  • Raised lumps or growths with a lower center
  • Growths that look similar to warts
  • Open sores that don’t heal or that come back (they may also ooze or crust)

Both of these common forms of skin cancer may show up first as a flat area and only produce minor skin changes, so it’s important to examine your skin thoroughly and often so that you can detect these changes early. Plus, it’s important to see your West Palm Beach dermatologist each year for skin cancer screenings.

Melanoma is a life-threatening form of skin cancer that you also need to detect right away. When it comes to pinpointing whether a growth is melanoma, it’s important to follow the ABCDE rule:

“A” for asymmetry: One half of a mole or birthmark is different from the other side.

“B” for border: The edges of a growth are ragged or irregular.

“C” for color: The growth isn’t one uniformed color and may contain different shades of brown or black or spots of pink, blue or white.

“D” for diameter: While melanoma can also be small, growths larger than 6 millimeters across (the size of a pencil eraser) need to be checked for melanoma.

“E” for evolving: Melanoma is often changing, whether in color, shape or size.

If you notice any changes in your skin then it’s time you saw your West Palm Beach dermatologist right away. The sooner we diagnose skin cancer the better the prognosis and treatment plan. Turn to Integrated Dermatology of West Palm Beach & of the Palm Beaches for all your skin care needs.