After 22 biopsies since my early 20s, I’ve become hyper vigilant about skin cancer symptoms. You probably know that a funny looking mole warrants a check by the dermatologist, but there are plenty of other skin cancer symptoms that you might not be aware of. That’s why I put together this list. If I can help you spot a potential problem, I’ll feel great and so will you. Anytime you have something weird going on with your skin, you should definitely get it looked at right away.
1. Dry Skin Patches
Most people suffer from dry skin at one point or other in their lifetime, but if you have a dry patch of skin that comes and goes or comes and stays, you may have an early skin cancer. See – it’s not always a mole that indicates a problem. Though less serious than melanoma, this is one of the skin cancer symptoms that does need treatment before it progresses.
2. Sudden Bleeding
Maybe your skin starts bleeding or you bleed a lot with a simple injury. These are symptoms of other health issues, but in some cases, this can indicate skin cancer. So if you have the problem and it persists for several weeks, it’s time to make an appointment with your dermatologist. Even if it’s not your skin, you could discover something else that needs treatment.
3. Color Changes
Changes to the pigmentation of your skin can also indicate a problem. If you notice patches of skin that slowly or rapidly change color, you definitely want to get the issue checked out right away. Because skin cancer alters the cellular make-up of your skin, it can sometimes manifest itself as changes in the colors on your body.
4. Streaks under Your Nails
You might be surprised to find out that melanoma can crop up under your finger and toenails. If you notice the appearance of a brown or black line or dot under any of your nails, have it looked at. I once had this issue on one of my toenails. Fortunately, it was just dried blood after banging my foot pretty hard, but it could be dangerous too, so have it checked out to be sure.
5. Irregular Border
A skin issue, whether it’s a mole, scaly patch or bump, that has an irregular border is more likely to be skin cancer than one that’s even and symmetrical. If you have a spot that looks different on either side, it may need to be removed and biopsied to rule out the presence of skin cancer. This is an easy procedure that isn’t all that painful and is way better than ignoring the problem.
6. A Sore That Doesn’t Heal
You’ve probably heard that bruises that don’t heal can indicate cancer, but skin sores that don’t heal are also potentially problematic. If you hurt yourself and the wound just doesn’t seem to be healing like you’d expect, I recommend calling your dermatologist and setting up an appointment. It might be inconvenient, but you’ll feel better if you don’t wait too long.
7. Excessive Scaling
No one wants to suffer with scaly skin. But, instead of slathering on gallons of lotion, see your dermatologist. That’s because scaling can indicate skin cancer, so it’s definitely a good idea to have it checked out. At the least, you’ll get a solution for the issue even if it turns out not to be skin cancer.
Do you monitor your skin? I try to keep a close eye on mine just in case. Fortunately, all of my biopsies have turned out fine, but it pays to stay on top of things. Did you learn anything new from this article?