Uncommon Signs of Skin Cancer You Should Look Out For

When it comes to skin cancer, most people are aware of the most common signs of cancerous growth. For instance, a sore that does not heal or a mole that changes its shape is often a telltale sign of skin cancer. When people see an unusual mole, they often visit a physician right away.

Still, skin cancer can often go unnoticed, mainly because the symptoms are not very common. The classic mole is not the only clue you should look for. Luckily, Dr. Ostad specializes in skin cancer treatments and can determine whether a skin condition can be dangerous or not. In this blog, you will learn about more unusual skin cancer signs.

What Is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of cells that normally develop on skin exposed to the sun. There are three types of cancer you should look out for. The first is basal cell carcinoma, which rarely metastasizes to other parts of your body, but can still bring potential dangers. Next is squamous cell carcinoma, which can spread to your lymph nodes and other organs. The last and most dangerous is melanoma, an aggressive cancer that is incurable once it has spread into surrounding tissue. 

The risk of skin cancer can be reduced by limiting your exposure to UV radiation and wearing the appropriate sunblock. That being said, even if it develops, this form of cancer can be treated if it is found in the early stages. You should keep an eye on suspicious formations on the skin, regardless of how common they may be. 

Less Common Signs to Look For

Skin cancer is often silent, as the signs can go unnoticed. Here are some uncommon symptoms to look out for: 

1. Fingernail Changes

While nail discoloration is not usually a cause of great concern, a black or dark brown discoloration on your nail bed can signal the presence of cancer. This type is often referred to as a subungual melanoma, and it appears as a bruise that never grows out with your nail. This form of cancer is mostly common in non-Caucasians who are past the age of 60.

2. Pimple-Like Growths

If you are a pimple-popper, you may want to rethink your actions the next time you have a zit. That’s because the “pimple” may not be a pimple. It may be a sign of squamous or basal cell carcinoma. These growths are often firm red and/or waxy and do not go away even after a couple of months have passed. If you notice this happening, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ostad.

3. Chapped Lips

Everyone has dealt with chapped lips at some point. However, if the problem is persistent, then this may be a sign of actinic cheilitis, a form of skin cancer. This condition is pre-malignant, so you may want to take action quickly before it spreads.

4. An Open Sore

If you notice an open, scabbed-over, and bloody sore that looks similar to a very bad sunburn, don’t dismiss it because it may be a sign of basal cell carcinoma. A regular sore heals with time, but if it’s still there after a few months, you should visit Dr. Ostad.

5. A Mole Losing Color

Melanoma may sometimes start as a benign mole, but it may also turn malignant. If your mole begins to change its color and look more like your skin, it doesn’t mean it went away. It just means that the cancer changed its color and that it’s becoming dangerous. At this point, it’s worth having it checked.

The Bottom Line

Skin cancer is no longer a life-threatening condition. If it’s caught in the early stages, you can get the treatment on time and eliminate the threat. You just need to know what signs to look for. Call Dr. Ostad and set up an appointment for a skin cancer check, should you notice any unusual growths on your skin.

For more information on skin cancer and how to treat it, you can contact Dr. Ariel Ostad at 212-517-7900. He will offer you all the details that you need. As an alternative, you can use the online contact form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.


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