From an early age, Australians receive constant warnings about the dangers of the sun. In fact, skin cancer is so common among Australians; estimations are that 66% of the population will receive a skin cancer diagnosis before they turn 70. You already know to be wary of moles on your body when they change shape, but did you know there are other signs of skin cancer too? As someone who does like to hang out in the sun, these are the other signs you should be aware of that indicate the need to get your skin checked out by a professional.
A small scratch on the skin when you bang against an item of furniture is hardly a cause for concern. But, when that piece of skin takes weeks to heal, then you need to get it checked out by a doctor.
Bleeding patches that don't heal could be squamous cell carcinomas, which start off as innocent looking flat areas of skin. They don't even have to have been sunburned in the past to become a skin cancer. The only sign something is amiss in its early stages are its inability to heal.
Dry, scaly patches
Dry, scaly patches of skin get overlooked as being an inconvenience from spending too much time in the sun. Slap a bit of moisturiser on it, and she'll be right. But, again, these patches of skin are potentially a sign of squamous cell carcinoma.
Obviously, you don't want to go to the doctor every time you have a dry patch of skin, so what should trigger a visit to investigate this further? If you notice any of the following in conjunction with the dry patch, then you should seek a further opinion quickly:
- crusty around the edges
- odd colours like a bruise - blue, purple or yellow
- shiny or dimpled
- tight skin which feels stretched
Get a medical checkup for anything that looks a little different from your normal dry skin.
People do not often associate warts with skin cancer, but warts that are painful, bleed regularly, or refuse to heal are another indicator of a basal cell carcinoma. For peace of mind, get your warts looked at if they are bothering you.
The good news is the sooner you catch skin cancer, the better the chance of a successful treatment without leaving lasting scars or worse. Make sure you discuss any skin changes with your doctor as soon as you notice them so they can take a closer look.Share