As we continue to ease into the hottest part of the year, many of us are reminded to take care to protect our skin from the vicious rays of the sun. From sunburn to skin cancer, it seems as if there isn’t enough we can do to protect ourselves from summertime dangers, and thankfully there is a way to prepare yourself.
Like most women, after laying out under the sun for a few hours, I may begin to worry as the summer months wear on that a mole that looked completely normal to me earlier that month may look a bit off. However, also like most women, before recently, I wasn’t quite sure what an abnormal skin change was in comparison to something that is completely healthy.
Thankfully, the interwebz is here to save the day, as I came across various guides depicting the tell-tell signs of different types of skin cancer. And I am going to share them with you. Please take the time to pass them on, as contrary to popular belief, skin cancer is not an easy cancer to get over. It can spread to other parts of your body, and claim your life before you even have the chance to fully realize what has happened.
In fact, according to Health Line, skin cancer is an uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells that start on our skin. If left untreated, or unrecognized, it can spread to our vital organs, tissues, bones, lymph nodes and even our brain.
So which types are which and how to we visually detect them? Well, continue on, and I will explain…
If you are fair skinned, this one could pose more of a hazard to you as they frequently develop in the fairer ones. But, even with that being said, it does occur in darker skin types as well, just not as frequently. When looking over your skin, if you see a slight peal-like bump or a new pinkish patch of skin, it could be BCC. As with many of the other forms of skin cancer, this usually occurs due to tanning, or frequent sun=-exposure. (Especially indoor tanning.) They typically appear on the head, neck, and arms, but could form anywhere.
Actinic Keratoses (AK)
Similar to BCC, AK is found in the fairer types most often. But, most of the people who find these are in their 40’s because this form of skin cancer can take years to develop. They are found on any part of your skin that is the most exposed to the sun, and it can progress to another form of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), so you should treat it as soon as possible.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
All skin types can develop this, however, it is more likely in fair skinned people. It may begin as a firm, red bump, a sore that opens/heals/opens again, or even a scaly patch. It is caused by frequent sun exposure and usually found in areas that receive the most exposure. Early diagnosis is a must for treating this cancer.
Almost everyone has heard of this form, as it is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Usually, it forms or develops on a mole, or it can appear as a new dark spot on the surface of your skin. Early diagnosis is a must, as late treatment can be fatal.
If you spend ample amounts of time in the sun or even enjoy it in small spurts, please be cautious and aware. Check your skin, or have a loved one check, and make sure that you don’t have any strange or new developments in the coloring or texture of your skin. If you do, please, speak to a dermatologist immediately. While it may be nothing, it is NEVER worth chancing when it involves your life and health!