Your Skin's Warning Signs

Caught early, almost all skin cancers are curable. But if not detected and treated promptly, they can cause disfigurement and even death. Check your skin head-to-toe every month, become familiar with your freckles and moles and look for change of any kind. Remember, even the most dangerous skin cancers may at first be painless. See a doctor right away, if you notice one or more of the warning signs below.

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma

    A skin growth that increases in size and commonly appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored.

  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    A skin growth that commonly appears as a thick, rough, scaly patch, or as an open sore that does not heal within three weeks.

  • Melanoma

    A mole, birthmark, beauty mark, or any brown spot that:
    -  changes color or texture
    -  increases in size or thickness
    -  is asymmetrical and irregular in outline
    -  is bigger than 6mm or 1/4", the size of a pencil eraser
    -  appears after age 21

  • Actinic Keratosis

    Numerous actinic keratosis on a bald scalp revealing chronic sun damage. They are typically elevated, scaly, dry, and rough in texture.

Medical Reviewer: Steven M. Rotter, MD