Spending too much time in the sun without proper protection can lead to more than just a painful sunburn. The sun's ultraviolet rays can easily damage the DNA of skin cells in such a way that directly leads to skin cancer. Keep reading below for three of the most common signs of skin cancer that you should always be on the lookout for.
Scars and Similar Marks
Skin cancer interferes with normal skin cells' ability to regenerate quickly. This means that scars you would otherwise expect to heal in a matter of days or weeks instead take much longer. If you notice a scar anywhere on your body that is not healing as quickly as they regularly do, it is wise to speak to a dermatologist as soon as possible. Likewise, a mark that appears to be a scar in a place where you have no actual injury history can signal the beginning stages of skin cancer.
Lesions and Bumps
In areas of the body that are exposed to the sun, you may notice a small lesion or bump has formed. These may be one or more colors, including pink, brown, or red, and can be either flat or rounded. While such markings do not guarantee that skin cancer has begun to develop, it is always worthwhile to make an appointment with a dermatologist sooner rather than later. This can prevent skin cancer from progressing to later stages in which it becomes much more serious and more difficult to treat.
Many people have moles all over their body and will never have to worry about skin cancer. That said, if you notice a mole suddenly appear where one wasn't before, it is smart to keep an eye on it over the next few weeks and months. A mole that grows or changes its color and shape can be one of the clearest signs of a kind of skin cancer called melanoma. Since melanoma can spread to other parts of your body fairly easily, it is crucial to have a professional dermatologist take a look at your mole as soon as you notice it has begun to change.
If a dermatologist confirms via skin biopsy that your scar, bump, or mole is indeed skin cancer, they can quickly work to remove it and the surrounding skin in order to keep it from spreading, thus helping you avoid more invasive surgeries and treatments.
Reach out to a local dermatology clinic to learn more.