Skin cancer is the result of an abnormal growth of cells and tends to develop on areas of skin that are most prone to sun exposure, such as the face, neck, ears, chest, legs and arms. It can affect all types of complexions, including those with darker skin tones.
The risk of skin cancer is generally greater in those with a somewhat casual approach to protecting their delicate skin from the sun’s harmful rays. However, it is important to remember that some skin cancers are not linked with sun exposure, and any worrying signs should always be reported to your doctor.
To avoid skin cancer it’s important to be familiar with your skin so that you can immediately pick up on any potentially worrying changes.
The three main skin cancers are as follows: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
Basal cell carcinoma normally occurs in the most sun exposed areas of skin, such as face or neck. It manifests in several different ways. It can look like a pearly bump or sometimes a totally flat lesion that is often brown or flesh coloured.
Squamous cell carcinoma also generally appears on the key areas for sun exposure in people with lighter complexions and on unexposed skin in those with a darker skin tone. This type of skin cancer often has a crusty appearance, but it can also present as a bright red nodule that is firm to the touch.
Melanoma can appear anywhere on the body, either on previously normal skin or a mole that changes. It is commonly seen on the trunk of both sexes and on the legs of women. It affects all skin tones.
Melanoma can display in several disparate ways. These include a brown patch on the skin with smaller, darker spots inside it, a mole that changes appearance, in size, colour or one that starts to bleed. It can also appear as an irregularly shaped lesion in any location on the body, including under the toe or fingernails.
The best way to avoid skin cancer is to educate yourself. Be sun aware. Limit your time in the sun and when sunbathing you must make absolutely sure that you have applied your (broad spectrum) sunscreen to all exposed areas.
Being vigilant about any changes to your skin can help to detect any problems at an early stage, therefore giving the best chance of the prescribed treatment being totally successful. Ask your partner or a friend to check inaccessible areas such as your back.
Many pharmacies also offer full body mole checks for a small fee. Investing in a BackBliss Sun Lotion Applicator is the perfect way to protect both the hard to reach skin on your back and, crucially, your longer term health.