12 Days of Dermatology – Day Three: Skin Cancer


The weather outside maybe frightful but having your skin unprotected would not be delightful. The ultraviolet rays from the sun are just as harmful now as they are on the hottest day of summer. Whether you are traveling to a tropical location to get away from the snow, or you are a cold-weather-activity enthusiast, always remember to use sunscreen. One in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer during their lifetime. Protecting your skin year-round could decrease your chances of developing skin cancer.

 Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common forms of skin cancer. Both of these types of cancers can tend to form on the face, ears, bald scalp, and neck, but they can appear on any sun-exposed area of the body. Basel cell carcinoma appears like a pearly bump, while squamous cell carcinoma appears as a rough, red scaly area or an ulcerated (or pus-filled) bump that may bleed.

Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and makes up 75% of skin cancer deaths. This cancer can form without warning or develop from or near existing moles on the body. What makes melanoma so deadly is that it can spread to the lymph nodes and most internal organs, which is why early detection is very important. ¹

¹American Academy of Dermatology Web site. https://www.aad.org/. Accessed December 11, 2009.

Published on 12/16/2009 | Last updated on 10/18/2018