If This Black Mark Appeared on Your Nails – Run to a Doctor Right Away
Skin cancer is swift and deadly and, if left untreated, can spread to other organs of your body, from the lymph nodes to the liver and pancreas. Ultimately, if left to progress without medical attention for too long, skin cancer can result in death. We have been aware of the dangers of the sun for a long time now, but completely avoiding exposure to the sun is impossible for all of us. Therefore, if you see any strange-looking black or brown marks on your nails, hands, arms, back – anywhere – a doctor should see you immediately! Skin cancers can grow very quickly from a small brown spot to something very frightening looking, because this cancer is swift-moving.
On Which Parts of the Body Does Skin Cancer Develop
Skin cancer specialists at the Mayo Clinic report that skin cancers develop most often on areas of skin that get the most sun, such as the “scalp, the face, lips, ears neck, chest, arms, and hands, and on the legs in women.” However, in some rare instances, skin cancer can develop on body parts that would not seem to be exposed to excessive sunshine, such as the palms of the hands, beneath your fingernails or toenails, and in the genital area (especially if one has been exposed to the HPV virus).
Early Signs of Skin Cancer
• An unusual growth on your skin of any kind
• Skin color changes of any kind in certain spots
• A sore that won’t heal
• Moles of all kinds, especially if they have odd colors, shapes, or scaly
surfaces, as explained in more detail below.
• Waxy or pearly bumps on the skin
• And flat scar like lesions
RELATED ARTICLE: 11 Ways To Detect Skin Cancer
Moles, Especially, Must Be Watched Carefully
Skin cancers usually present at moles of unusual shapes or that are swiftly growing in size. People must mind the ABCD rule, as Baptist East notes, paying special attention to moles that are Asymmetrical, have Borders that are irregular (looking like they are seeping outside of a circular shape or jagged looking at the edges), moles with irregular Colors (where one mole is more than one color) and moles that evolve or change in height, shape, or Diameter or are bigger than six millimeters in Diameter.
Types of Skin Cancer and What They Will Look Like
There are three basic types of skin cancer:
• Basal Cell Carcinoma
• Squamous Cell Carcinoma
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Basal Cell Carcinoma: What it Looks Like and Where to Look For it
Basal cell carcinoma usually occurs on areas of skin particularly exposed to the sun, especially the arms, hands, and face (especially if you work or play outside without sunscreen).
Basal Cell Carcinoma Will Present As:
• Pearly or waxy bumps on the skin—especially arms and face
• A reddish patch of skin (most frequently on the face, shoulders, arms, chest) and
sometimes is painful or itchy.
• Oozing or bloody sores that bleed, ooze, crust over and then bleed again
• A pink growth with slightly raised borders in areas
• A white, yellow, or pale scar-looking lesion with a waxy surface
RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Warning Signs of Basal Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma Signs and Symptoms
Squamous cell cancers are caused by exposure to ultra violet light over a period of years. Like Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell cancers frequently appear on areas of the body most exposed to the sun, most frequently appearing on the rims of the ears, scalps (especially if you are balding or have thin hair and don’t cover your head in the sun), arms, hands, legs, and backs of the feet.
How Squamous Cell Carcinoma Will Present on the Skin
• In scaly red patches, typically with irregular borders or edges
• An elevated growth around a depressed area (think a crater-like lesion) and the
center will typically bleed.
• An open sore that bleeds and crusts for extended periods (or at all)
• A wart-like bump that frequently crusts or bleeds
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer that there is and is frequently appears in moles. If you have more than 100 moles, you are especially at risk for melanoma.
Melanoma is the long-term result of extended UV damage to the skin. Typically, sufferers of melanoma are former tan bed users and sun worshipers who used to sunbathe frequently.
If you are a person who used to use tanning beds or sunbathe in the past (even with some SPF protection), you should examine your skin regularly and be seen by a dermatologist or skin specialist at least once a year. Melanoma will present as irregular moles of all kinds.
Look, especially for moles that are:
• Irregular in shape, color, and borders
• Are two different colors within one mole
• Are irregular at the edges –circular shaped on one side and irregular and
bleeding on the other side.