Signs Of Skin Cancer To Watch Out For After Fun In The Sun

Summer is in full swing, and for many people, that means spending more time enjoying the great outdoors and soaking up the sunshine.

Of course, you should always protect yourself from the sun because of the risk of skin damage. But sometimes, accidents happen and we end up with burns or deep tans anyway.

While a little sun is usually fine, too much sun can lead to skin cancer. It sounds extreme, but it’s true!

Photo: Pexels/Jacub Gomez

Skin cancer encompasses a few different types of cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Because skin cancer can be sneaky with minimal symptoms, it’s important to watch out for the warning signs and symptoms.

According to the University of Texas MC Anderson Cancer Center, these are the 9 skin cancer symptoms to look out for:

1. A new spot on the skin.

Photo: Flickr/Marco Verch Professional Photograpy License: CC BY 2.0

If you notice any new spots on your skin, including moles, it’s best to monitor them and contact a health provider.

2. Changes in the size, shape or color of an existing spot.

Photo: Flickr/Marco Verch Professional Photographer License: CC BY 2.0

If you have a spot on your skin and notice it changing in size, shape or color, it’s a good idea to get it checked out. Changes can vary greatly, so there is no one way to describe how skin cancer looks.

3. A spot that is itchy or painful.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Orrling and Tomer S License: CC BY-SA 3.0

If you have any itchy or painful spot that persists, be sure to get it checked out! Even if it’s not cancerous, it could be something else that warrants treatment.

4. A non-healing sore that bleeds or develops a crust.

Photo: Flickr/Bart Everson License: CC BY 2.0

If you have any sores that aren’t healing, it’s time for a trip to the doctor or dermatologist.

5. A red or skin-colored shiny bump on the top of the skin.

Photo: Pexels/Antoni Shkraba

Developing a red or skin-colored bump that has a slight shine to the top of it is a warning sign for skin cancer. It could also be nothing, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

6. A red rough or scaly spot that you can feel.

Photo: Pexels/NEOSiAM 2021

Developed a new scaly or red and rough patch that you can feel on your skin? You should probably get that checked out.

7. A growth with a raised border and central crust or bleeding.

Photo: Pexels/Thirdman

Any kind of skin growths that develop should probably be examined by a medical professional. But if a skin growth is crusty or bleeding, that’s a sign it could be cancerous.

8. A wart-like growth.

Photo: Flickr/Charles Williams License: CC BY 2.0

While warts aren’t typically cause for alarm, some cancerous growths can present as wart-like.

9. A scar-like growth without a well-defined border.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Kelly Nelson, M.D. ; National Cancer Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

If you notice a new scar on your body but don’t remember ever getting cut or injured, it’s possible the mark could be skin cancer.

If you’re concerned about any of these symptoms or have questions, it’s always best to consult a medical professional for help.

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