What are the signs of skin cancer?
Skin cancer is not just one disease but comes in several different forms. Each one has unique symptoms.
Basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. Common signs and symptoms of this cancer that sits in the deepest layers of your skin include:
- Sores that heal and re-open
- Pearly white bumps
- Flat scaly scars with a waxy appearance
Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer. It can show up as:
- Flat sores with a scaly crust
- Sore or raised area that’s new or at the site of an old scar
- A firm red nodule
Squamous cell carcinoma often stems from precancerous lesions known as actinic keratoses.
Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer that forms in the melanin-producing cells in the bottom layer of your skin. They often grow inside existing moles. Melanoma can create a mole that has:
- Irregular borders
- Varying shades of color
- A large size
- Asymmetrical shapes
Melanoma can spread to other parts of your body, so it’s important to contact Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center if you notice any of these signs.
What are the risks of developing skin cancer?
Skin cancer can be hereditary, but other factors also raise your risk. These include:
- Having many moles
- Childhood history of sunburns
- Ultraviolet light exposure in tanning beds
- Fair skin and light complexion
- A weakened immune system
If you have a history of skin cancer, you’re also at greater risk of additional outbreaks. The team at Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center reviews your health history and risk factors as part of a comprehensive skin check to evaluate you for skin cancer.
What are the treatments for skin cancer?
The board-certified dermatologists develop your skin cancer treatment based on the type of cancer you have, it’s size, and any potential metastases. If you have basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, the team may have you undergo:
- Surgical excision, including Mohs surgery
- Liquid nitrogen freezing
- Curettage and desiccation
- Prescription medicated creams
- Radiation therapy
Melanoma treatment includes removal of the cancerous growth and sometimes radiation or chemotherapy, depending on whether the cancer has spread.
If you’re due for a skin check or have a suspicious skin lesion, book an exam at Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center using this website or call the office.