By Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery, Ltd.
March 05, 2015
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Skin Cancer  

Here are some ways to tell whether that suspicious growth might be skin cancer.

It might be hard to imagine but about 40 to 50 percent of fair-skinned individuals who reach 65 years of age will develop at least skin cancer once in their lifetime. So it’s important to be able to spot the signs of skin cancer as soon as possible so that your can seek skin cancer treatment in Hinsdale. Look for these abnormal skin conditions that could be a warning sign of potential skin cancer.

Actinic keratosis (also known as solar keratosis)

These small patches of scaly skin are signs of too much sun exposure. They are most often found on the head, hands or necks; however, they can develop just about anywhere on the body. These are often a warning sign of skin cancer, however not all of these patches will morph into cancer over time. While many don’t end up becoming skin cancer, most Hinsdale dermatologists recommend early treatment to prevent skin cancer from forming.

Actinic cheilitis

Also referred to as farmer’s lip, this precancerous condition typically is found on the lips. It is related to actinic keratosis and produces the same scaly, rough patches just primarily on the lower lip. Some patients may even experience swelling; however, this tends to be rare. If left untreated, this condition can turn into an invasive form of skin cancer.

How about moles?

While moles are often just benign growths, sometimes they can become cancerous. Abnormal moles can even develop into melanoma; however, this isn’t as common. Moles can be either flat or raised, or change their structure.

So, how do you know if a mole is showing signs of skin cancer?

The telltale sign that there is an issue is if one mole doesn’t look like the rest on your body. As any Hinsdale dermatologist will tell you, it’s important to know your ABCDEs to tell whether it’s time to get your mole checked out.

Asymmetry (“A): This means that one part of the mole doesn’t mirror the same shape as the other side. Since healthy, normal moles are symmetrical, an asymmetrical one could spells problems for this growth at some point in time.

Border (“B”): a mole should have a nice smooth border; however, growths that have turned into melanoma often have blurred or irregular borders.

Color (“C”): A healthy mole is usually one single color. If a mole has different shades of light or dark within it (particularly brown, black, white or red) this is suspicious and needs to be check by your Hinsdale dermatologist.

Diameter (“D”): A mole is considered suspect if it is larger than the eraser on the end of a pencil.

Evolving (“E”): A mole that grows, gets smaller or begins to bleed needs to be examined right away. If you notice that a part of your mole has become raised then it’s time for an exam.

If you are noticing a suspicious mole or growth, then it’s time to have it checked out. After all, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry. To schedule an appointment with your Hinsdale dermatologist contact Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery, Ltd.