Skin Cancer Symptoms

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. It most commonly occurs on areas of skin that experience high levels of sun exposure, including the face, scalp, lips, ears, chest, arms, hands and legs. However, skin cancer may also develop in areas that are rarely or never exposed to the sun. Although people with fair skin are most likely to experience skin cancer symptoms, skin cancer can affect people of all skin tones. Those with darker skin may be more likely to notice symptoms in areas that are not usually exposed to the sun.

Routine skin exams are recommended for all people, but may need to be more frequent in those who are at a higher risk. Being familiar with the symptoms of skin cancer can help you keep your skin healthy. Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma are the three most common types of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma most frequently develops on the face or neck. It may appear as a waxy bump or pearly-looking pimple. In some patients, these skin cancer symptoms may also appear as a scar-like lesion that is either flesh-colored or brown in tone.

Squamous cell carcinoma often appears on the face, hands and ears. It may present as a crusty or scaly flat lesion or a firm red nodule. Skin cancer symptoms for squamous cell carcinoma may also include a sore that is painless or does not heal. Melanoma is less common but is also more deadly. It can occur anywhere on the body and may appear as a discolored spot with darker flecks of color throughout. An irregular lesion that is red, white, blue or black should be further evaluated. Melanoma may also appear as a mole that changes in size, has an irregular border or bleeds.

Skin cancer symptoms may vary for other types of skin cancer, such as Kaposi sarcoma or Merkel cell carcinoma. Any changes in your skin that cause you concern should be further evaluated. Many areas of concern are caused by other skin conditions but should still be examined. If you have any skin cancer symptoms or skin concerns, we can help. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Peyman Ghasri, our Los Angeles skin doctor.