From exercising and following a well-balanced diet to visiting your doctor regularly, these tasks will help you live a physically and emotionally healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, certain conditions may arise that can affect your well-being even though you follow your doctor's recommendations. Skin cancer is one of these conditions that can develop in people of all ages and genders without proper care and protection of the skin. While shocking to learn, this form of cancer is also very deadly, killing over 10,000 people in the United States each year.
New moles that appear or abnormal changes in size, shape, and color of these bumps on the skin are the most common sign of melanoma. However, understanding the other signs can help you diagnose and treat cancer before it is too late. If you notice one or more of these other signs of skin cancer, consult your doctor immediately.
If you have a mole that is bleeding, you should consult your doctor for testing. If you have an ordinary bump on the skin that has begun bleeding, you may not think there is an issue.
Any raised areas of your skin that is bleeding should be addressed by your doctor. If the bump is bleeding in the center or bleeds when you touch it, it should be examined by the doctor. In addition, any bleeding patches on the skin with raised borders could be an early sign of skin cancer.
A cut or scrape should heal after a few weeks. If you notice these minor injuries are taking longer than normal to heal or they have not healed after two months, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Cuts and scrapes from shaving or an injury are usually minor as long as they have not become infected, but your body's immune system should be able to heal the skin's surface after a few weeks.
If you have recently burned your skin, while cooking or while outdoors in the sun, your skin should also be able to heal within a few weeks.
Excessively Dry, Scaly Skin
From time to time, you may notice dry, scaly patches on your skin. This dryness is common in the winter, where you are exposed to both cold air from the outdoors and heat running at home and in your vehicle. The combination of hot and cold air will dry out your skin, but if you are constantly dealing with this dry, scaly skin, consider talking to your doctor.
Applying lotion each day to these dry, scaly patches on the skin will decrease any discomfort and itchiness you may feel. This is a short term solution, though. Your doctor will most likely complete a biopsy of the skin by cutting a small piece of the scaly part of the skin to determine if it is cancerous.
Many things can create a desire to scratch your skin. Contact to a new detergent, animal, food, or plant and even allergies to dust and dander can all cause your skin to feel itchy. If this itchiness seems to be continuous, there may be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed immediately.
While surprising for most people to learn, itchy skin is a problem for many patients who have skin cancer.
Determining why the skin is itchy is difficult. Most doctors believe cancerous growths on and under the skin's surface cause inflammation, which causes the skin to be itchy.
Learning the early warning signs of skin cancer is imperative for fast and effective treatment. Make sure to schedule a thorough examination with your doctor if you are experiencing one of the above signs. For more information, you can also contact establishments like Vail Dermatology.