Too much time in the sun can be dangerous

Avoid Overlooking Skin Changes From Excessive Exposure to The Sun As Those Changes Can Result in Skin Cancer

It’s springtime, the sun is shining, and it’s a beautiful time to be outside. While a little bit of sunshine is healthy, too much can lead to skin cancer. Healthcare professionals in Pasadena can help you monitor skin changes.

Some skin changes are benign. Freckles are a good example. Other changes can have serious consequences.

Millions of people get skin cancer each year, many more than other kinds of cancer. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the cause of all but a few cases of skin cancers. You’re exposed to UV radiation from the sun, tanning booths, and sunlamps.

Skin cancers almost always start as a visible blemish. That’s why experts recommend regular self-exams to discover new blemishes or other changes in your skin. Skin cancer has an extremely high cure rate if discovered and treated early.

Pasadena Home Health Care Specialists Help You Monitor Skin Changes

You may find it difficult to examine all of your body. Your home health care specialist can assist you with those hard-to-see areas. He or she can observe if you have new skin changes or changes in existing blemishes.

Any changes are evaluated and recorded so that you have accurate information for your dermatologist. If the blemish is malignant, the doctor will choose an appropriate treatment.

There are three common types of skin cancers:

  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Melanoma

Treatment varies for each type, its location, and how long it’s been growing.

The most common of the three is basal cell carcinoma. It often occurs in areas that have the most exposure to the sun. You may first notice it as a raised bump or as irritated-looking skin.

It’s usually pink or red. It can have a pearly appearance and look like a scar. Basal cell carcinoma spreads into nearby cells, killing tissue as the tumor grows. The tumor continues to increase in size and can be disfiguring if not promptly removed.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second common kind of skin cancer. It also appears on skin that receives the most sun. It also favors older individuals.

It appears more like a lesion than as a bump. Your skin may look ulcerated, scaly, or crusted. Squamous cell carcinoma is more dangerous than basal cell carcinoma because it spreads throughout your body if not removed.

Untreated Melanoma Is A Killer

Moles are closely associated with melanoma. It may develop from a mole, or it may be a lesion that looks like a mole. Melanomas occur in a variety of colors, including:

  • Blue
  • Flesh-colored
  • Pink
  • Purple
  • Red
  • White

Most are black or brown.

Melanoma occurs far less often than other kinds of skin cancers, but it is far more deadly. It has a good cure rate if removed quickly. If it isn’t, it spreads through the rest of your body and results in death.

Dermatologists recommend the ABCDE guidelines to discover signs of melanoma. The letters refer to the kind of changes to look for. The changes include:

  • Asymmetry: Part of the lesion is a different size or shape than the other part.
  • Border: The lesion is not round with smooth edges. Instead, it is irregularly shaped with a jagged outer edge.
  • Color: there is more than one color within the border.
  • Diameter: The lesion is larger than 1/4 inch, which is the diameter of a pencil eraser.
  • Evolving: It is changing in color, size, or shape.

An existing mole or a new growth that exhibits any of these changes needs immediate medical attention.

Skin Cancer Risk Factors

Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas have many risk factors in common. As well as excessive exposure to UV radiation, the following can lead to malignancy:

  • Age
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Certain medications, including those for psoriasis
  • Chronic skin inflammation or injury
  • Exposure to some chemicals
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections
  • Light-colored skin
  • Previous skin cancers
  • Radiation exposure other than UV
  • Smoking

Men are more susceptible than women to a basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma. The risk factors for developing melanoma are much the same, with the addition of having moles and a history of melanoma.

Although rare, individuals can develop other kinds of skin cancers. The key is to be very aware of any new growths on your skin. Any growth that changes, bleeds, or won’t heal needs to be examined by a dermatologist.

Actinic keratoses are precancerous skin lesions. They are rough-looking and resemble warts, but have different colors. Your dermatologist will remove them before they become malignant.

Pegasus Provides Comprehensive Healthcare in Pasadena

Pegasus is a Certified Home Care Aide organization and a Joint Commission Accredited organization. We’ve been helping clients feel respected and safe since 1994. Our goals are based keeping you healthy and living at home.

May is National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. It’s the ideal time to start regularly examining your skin. Our professionals are to here help you avoid overlooking skin changes that can lead to malignancies.