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Redlands Molescreening and Skin Cancer Centre

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TYPES OF SKIN DAMAGE

i.e. What do we look for at the Redlands Mole Screening & Skin Cancer Centre?

Solar keratoses (sun-spots) are usually red dry/scaly spots found on areas that have been exposed to sunlight throughout life, including the face, nose, ears and lips. They are also common on the backs of the hands and forearms. Solar keratoses are usually best removed by cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen).

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the commonest type of skin cancer. They tend to grow slowly into a flesh-coloured or pinkish lump or may develop into a sore that won't heal. They may also look like a red patch. BCC's are often located on the face, but can also occur on the trunk or limbs. BCCs are often removed by minor surgery. If a BCC is found early enough, they may be treated very effectively with electrocautery or cryotherapy.

Bowen's Disease (intra-epidermal squamous carcinoma) usually presents as multiple red slowly-growing crusted patches, most often on the lower legs but can also occur elsewhere.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) may grow rapidly, forming a tender crusting lump. They are found on the exposed areas, especially ears, lips, hands and lower legs. Minor surgery is the usual method of treatment.

Keratoacanthoma (KA) is a rapdly growing skin lesion which is ofter considered a variant of SCC. It can develop into a lump 2-3 centimetres in size in just a few weeks. While they are usually not dangerous, it is advised they be removed by excision due to their rapid growth.

Melanoma is the least common but most dangerous skin cancer, and may occur in young adults as well as the elderly. It usually looks like a growing mole or freckle with an unusual appearance. Melanomas, however, are not always black, so be suspicious of any changing or new skin spot. If diagnosed and removed by minor surgery at an early stage, it can usually be cured.

What about moles?
Moles are normal growths on the skin and are usually predetermined by your DNA. Most moles will stay with you for your whole life and never cause any problems. If however a mole undergoes any type of change then you should get that mole checked by a Doctor. Some changes might include increase (or decrease) in size, change in shape, change in colour (darker or lighter) or perhaps the development of an itch or bleeding. A change in a mole doesn't necessarily mean cancer but it is important to have it checked.

 

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