UV rays from the sun are helpful to a certain extent. However, the radiation is considered dangerous because the damage could easily and sneakily accumulate over the years. Prolonged exposure without ample protection could cause irreparable damage and ultimately, even skin cancer. Not all changes in your skin are signs of cancer. Consulting with a doctor is the key to early detection of skin cancer signs and the best source of prevention.
Here at Bayside Laser and Skin Care Associates in Towson and Annapolis, MD, our dermatologist, Dr. Gerald Newman, offers skin cancer screenings and preventive measures to help keep cancer away.
Skin Cancer Types
Generally described as abnormal skin cell growth, the most common cause of skin cancer is exposure to the sun. However, it is necessary to point out that not all skin cancers could result from sun exposure.
Here are the three major kinds of skin cancer:
1. Basal cell carcinoma appears on areas exposed to the sun like the face or neck and can be seen as:
- Waxy or pearly bumps
- Chronic sores that are bleeding or scabbing
- Flesh or brown-colored flat scar-like lesions
2. Squamous cell carcinoma could be developed on the ears, hands, and face. Usually, dark-skinned individuals develop this type of skin cancer on unexposed areas of the body, and they show up as:
- Red, firm nodules
- Crusted, scaly-surfaced flat lesions
3. Melanoma is prominent on the soles, palms, toenails, or under the fingernails, and comes with signs like:
- Large brown spots with dark speckles
- A mole that changes its size, color, or feel, and/or bleeds
- Small lesions with irregular borders and could appear pink, white, blue, red, blue-black, or blue
- An itchy and burning sensation
- Painful lesions
- Dark lesions on the soles, toes, fingerprints, palms, mucous membranes around the nose, mouth, anus, or vagina
Skin Cancer Prevention Tips
Skin cancer can be both painful and dangerous. Since it would be almost impossible to get away from the sun’s rays, we need to take some preventive measures to help minimize the risk. What can you do?
- Try to keep out of the sun from 10 am to 4 pm.
- Minimize exposure to UV like those in tanning booths.
- Wear UV-blocking sunglasses and broad-brimmed caps.
- Use SPF30 or higher for skin protection.
- Apply an ounce of sunscreen all over your body 30 minutes before going out and reapply every two hours.
- Make a habit of examining your body for irregularities regularly.
- Get a professional skin exam from either one of our offices in Annapolis or Towson, MD, at least once a year.
- See your dermatologist immediately when you spot signs of abnormal growth or skin coloration.
For Concerns or Questions About Skin Cancer, Contact Us
Schedule a consultation with your dermatologist here at Bayside Laser and Skin Care Associates, Dr. Gerald Newman, by calling our Annapolis, MD, office at (410) 224-8001 or our Towson, MD, office at (410) 337-3770.