Skin cancer is basically the uncontrollable development of abnormal cells right in the epidermis, which is your skin’s outermost layer. It’s a result of unrepaired damage to the DNA that activates the cells’ abnormal mutations. Consequently, these mutations cause skin cells to rapidly multiply and form cancerous tumors. Skin cancer comes in many types, but the most common ones include BCC or basal cell carcinoma, MCC or Merkel cell carcinoma, and SCC or squamous cell carcinoma.
If you’re unsure whether that suspicious growth or mole in your skin is skin cancer or not, you can consult with your dermatologists here at South Nassau Dermatology in Levittown, Long Beach, and Oceanside, NY, to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Until then, look to these skin cancer warning signs to help you out.
Warning Signs of Skin Cancer
- Cancerous moles typically have sides that don’t match.
- Moles that suddenly change in shape, color, or size must be examined by your dermatologist immediately.
- Be on the lookout for ragged, blurry, or irregular edges on moles.
- Normal moles are usually a quarter of an inch or smaller. Do note though that some melanomas could also be smaller.
It’s likewise vital to keep in mind that you should visit your dermatologist if you spot a mole or lesion that doesn’t heal in a month and/or bleeds.
Protect Yourself Against Skin Cancer
The following are skin cancer prevention guidelines from the Skin Cancer Foundation:
- Check in with your dermatologist for once-yearly skin exams.
- Avoid sunburns, tanning, and tanning beds.
- Avoid the sun’s harsh rays, which are at their strongest from 10AM to 4PM.
- Apply a UVB/UVA broad-spectrum sunblock with at least SPF15 daily. Opt for a water-resistant formulation with an SPF of 30 or higher for extended activity under the sun. Reapply your sunblock after excessive sweating, swimming, or every two hours.
- Use protective clothing and accessories for extra protection against the sun.
- Inspect every inch of your body at least once a month.
For More Information on Skin Cancer and How to Protect Yourself, Contact Us
Arrange a consultation with a dermatologist here at South Nassau Dermatology in Levittown, Long Beach, and Oceanside, NY, by calling one of these numbers:
- Levittown: (516) 766-0345
- Long Beach: (516) 520-5280
- Oceanside: (516) 432-7124