Protecting your skin during summer, even when it’s cloudy should become the first step in your beauty routine since skin cancer is on the rise. Although protection and prevention are your number one focus, being extra attentive about symptoms of skin cancer and spotting potential signs can be vital. Remember, every tan or burn you get this summer will potentially increase your risk of getting skin cancer.
Here are the 5 skin cancer symptoms you need to watch out for:
1. Painful Mole
If your mole suddenly starts to feel painful, itchy and tender, that’s not a good sign and it needs to be checked by a doctor.
2. Shifting Spots
If you have a new or changing brown spot, visit a board-certified dermatologist to get it checked out. It is normal to develop new brown spots up until the age of 30, however after that time, every new spot should be evaluated. Check if your mole looks the same on both sides, spot if it has any jagged edges, see if the mole is changing its color or changing its size.
3. Persistent Scabs
Wounds and scabs that don’t heal for more than 2 weeks can be an issue. This may represent a squamous cell carcinoma. Similar to basal cell carcinomas, they are rare, but can develop in younger patients, especially if there was a significant history of sunburns.
4. Weird Bumps
Moles aren’t the only bumps you need to look out for. If you have a new flesh-colored or pearly bump on the skin, it should be evaluated. It may be a basal cell carcinoma. If you notice a new skin-colored or pink bump in a sun exposed area, you should definitely visit a dermatologist to evaluate it.
5. Scaly Skin
Skin cancer can also manifest in the form of patchy skin. Pre-cancerous lesions called actinic keratoses show up as tiny gritty, scaly spots on a red or pink base that can often be picked off with a fingernail, but then return again in the same location. If not treated, this can turn into squamous cell cancers. To protect your skin, always apply an SPF cream and wear a hat and sunglasses.