Many of us love to sit for long hours in the sun especially during the cold season. But we ignore the fact that the harmful rays from sun are continuously deteriorating it. Continuous exposure to sun leads to faster aging, wrinkles and fine lines. Exposure to UV rays can even lead to skin cancer. In fact frequent sun exposure is one of main reasons of skin cancer.
The following blog is about causes and symptoms of skin cancer.
The initial symptom of skin cancer is the change in your skin’s appearance. You may experience some outgrowth on your skin which can be cancerous.
Here are main causes of skin cancer:
Sunburn can cause melanoma which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Many people get sun burnt while enjoying water sports, beach activities, gardening or simple sitting in the sun for long.
Sun burn can also be caused on cooler or overcast days because UV radiations are still present in the atmosphere.
Sun exposure can damage skin cells and put you at higher risk of developing skin cancer.
A tanned skin is sign of unhealthy body and skin. Many people have a belief that tan looks healthy which is a misconception.
Tanning indicates that your skin has been exposed to enough UV radiation from the sun which can cause damage to your skin. This leads to wrinkles, skin discoloration and even brown patches on your skin and the worst thing it enhances risk of skin cancer.
The following are types of skin cancer along with signs and symptoms.
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
It is the most common type of skin cancer which appears when face, scalp, neck, hands, and arms are excessively exposed to sun. But it can appear on other body parts as well such as the genitals which weren’t exposed much to sun. This form of cancer has varied shapes and sizes.
Signs and Symptoms of BCC:
- Reddish patch of dry skin that doesn’t heal
- Flesh-colored (appears like pinkish, reddish, or brownish) pearl-shaped lump
- Pimple that doesn’t leave your skin
- Bleeding sores that returns even after healing
- Waxy Scars (skin-colored, white, or yellow)
- Scaly Shiny pink or reddish growths in the form of sores that grows slowly and bleeds easily
- Flat or sunken growth( feels hard and appears whitish or yellowish)
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
This form of cancerous growth appears on skin which is exposed to sun heavily. It often appears on ear, face, bald scalp, neck, or arm but it can affect other body parts as well- inside of the mouth, on the lip, or on the genitals.
Excess exposure to sun is generally the cause but it can also occur due to exposure to radiations (example: x-rays), or strong chemicals.
SCC appears reddish in color and can grow deep if not treated in time. It can spread to other parts as well and prove to be deadly.
Signs and symptoms of SCC:
- Scaly or crusty reddish bump which feels hard and grows in a patch, or pearl-shape.
- Open sore that often itch and bleed and even returns after healing.
- Scaly patches on the lip and the skin on the lip can even get thicker.
Melanoma looks like a new mole or can even appear in an existing mole. If you know the location of moles on your skin, you can figure out where it can first start from. If it is detected and treated in time then it is often curable.
Signs and symptoms of SCC:
- A mole on the skin that grows, changes shape or color
- Scaly, oozy and bleeding mole
- Occurrence of a new dark spot that looks like a mole and grows quickly
- Streak (brown or black) below a fingernail or toenail
- Foot Bruise that does not heal