Also called Solar Keratoses, are scaly, crusty growths (lesions) caused by damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. They typically appear on sun-exposed areas such as the face, bald scalp, lips, and the back of the hands, and are often elevated, rough in texture, and may resemble warts. Most become red, but some will be tan, pink, and/or flesh-toned. If left untreated, up to 25 percent of Actinic Keratosis develop into Squamous Cell Carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer. In rarer instances, Actinic Keratosis may also turn into Basal Cell Carcinomas, the most common form of skin cancer.
Basal Cell Carcinoma: Are abnormal, uncontrolled growths or lesions that arise in the skin’s basal cells, which line the deepest layer of the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin). Basal Cell Carcinoma often look like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or scars and are usually caused by a combination of cumulative and intense occasional sun exposure. Basal Cell Carcinoma almost never spreads (metastasizes) beyond the original tumor site. Only in exceedingly rare cases can it spread to other parts of the body and become life-threatening. It shouldn’t be taken lightly, though: it can be disfiguring if not treated promptly. There is often more underneath the skin than can be seen from the surface.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells arising in the squamous cells, which compose most of the skin’s upper layers (the epidermis). Squamous Cell Carcinoma often look like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression, or warts; they may crust or bleed. They can become disfiguring and sometimes deadly if allowed to grow. Squamous Cell Carcinoma is mainly caused by cumulative ultraviolet (UV) exposure over the course of a lifetime; daily year-round exposure to the sun’s UV light, intense exposure in the summer months, and the UV produced by tanning beds all add to the damage that can lead to Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Squamous Cell Carcinoma may occur on all areas of the body including the mucous membranes and genitals, but are most common in areas frequently exposed to the sun, such as the rim of the ear, lower lip, face, balding scalp, neck, hands, arms and legs. Often the skin in these areas reveals telltale signs of sun damage, including wrinkles, pigment changes, freckles, “age spots,” loss of elasticity, and broken blood vessels.
Melanoma: Can develop in a mole or appear suddenly as a new dark spot on the skin. Other changes that could indicate melanoma are pain, itch, or bleeding in a mole or new spot on the skin. Melanoma is considered the deadliest form of skin cancer. More than 1000 people will die from melanoma in the United States in 2016! The risk of Melanoma is highly associated with tanning bed use especially with young women. Other risk factors include a history of blistering sunburn( even one) blonde hair, blue eyes, increased number of benign moles, a history of dyplastic moles and a history of melanoma in first degree relatives.
ABCDE’S Of Melanoma