Skin cancer is abnormal growth of skin cells that generally develops on areas of skin exposed to sun rays. Skin cancer is of many types:
Actinic keratosis is dry and scaly patches or spots. Actinic keratosis often leads to skin cancer. These spots happen to people with fairer skin. The main cause of actinic keratosis is exposure to Sun. common areas our head, neck, hands, and forearms. Actinic keratosis is in itself not a skin cancer but its treatment is important as it can lead to a skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.
Basal cell carcinoma:
This is the most common type of skin cancer.
It generally happens to people with fair skin but also happens to people with dark skin. Basal cell carcinoma is the flesh colored pearl-like bump on the skin. It could also be seen as a pinkish patch. BCCs occur commonly on head, neck and arms. However, they can also occur on areas such as chest, abdomen and legs.
If not diagnosed in early stages, BCC can grow into surrounding tissues, nerves and bones.
Squamous cell carcinoma:
It is the second most common skin cancer. Once again squamous cell carcinoma develops more in people with lighter skin and darker skin. SCC generally looks like a red firm bump, scaly patch or a sore that heals and reopens. SCC can grow deep into the skin and cause damage and disfigurement. SCC also happens on skin that is frequently exposed to the sun. Areas such as neck, chest, arms and rim of the ear are usually affected.
This is the worst form of skin cancer and also the most deadly.
Melanoma frequently develop and can also appear is a dark spot on the skin. It is crucial to get an early diagnosis and treatment for Melanoma.
Prevention of skin cancer: skin cancer can be prevented by protecting your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. A few things that help you prevent skin cancer are:
- Seek shade when it’s too sunny. Sun rays are strongest between 10 a.m. to 2 P.M. this is the time when sun affects your skin the most.
- Wear protective clothing that covers most parts of your body. Using dark shades also prevents the areas around your eyes.
- Use broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher.
- Use extra question near water and son as they reflect the sun rays increasing the chances of sunburn.
- Avoid tanning beds as the ultraviolet light can cause skin cancer.
- Whenever you see any suspicious spots on your skin that itch or bleed, immediately see a dermatologist.