Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma usually occurs on sun-damaged skin, especially in light-skinned individuals with a long history of chronic sun exposure.Squamous cell carcinoma requires treatment to prevent it from becoming too invasive. If it is caught early and treated appropriately, squamous cell carcinoma rarely spreads (metastasizes) to lymph nodes or to internal organs. However, if it is neglected, squamous cell carcinoma can cause tissue destruction or it may spread internally, causing serious health problems and even death.
Keratoacanthoma (KA) is a rapidly growing skin cancer usually appearing as a volcano-like bump on the sun-exposed skin of middle-aged and elderly individuals. Many scientists consider keratoacanthoma to be a less serious form of squamous cell carcinoma. Most keratoacanthoma cause only minimal skin destruction, but a few behave more aggressively and can spread to lymph nodes.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), also known as basal cell epithelioma, is the most common form of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma usually occurs on sun-damaged skin, especially in light-skinned individuals with a long history of chronic sun exposure. Although it requires treatment to prevent it from becoming too invasive, basal cell carcinoma does not typically metastasize, or spread to lymph nodes or internal organs.There are several sub-types of basal cell carcinoma, including:Nodular BCC Infiltrating BCC Superficial BCC
Sunburn is damage to the top layers of the skin caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Most commonly, the light source is the sun, but tanning beds and some intense heat sources, such as welding tools, can also produce a sunburn. The sunburn usually becomes apparent within 24 hours of exposure; the skin becomes red, warm, and tender, and the person may feel dizzy or ill. Sometimes the skin may blister and peel.Experiencing a sunburn raises the lifetime risk of developing skin cancer. Sunburn and sun exposure also increase wrinkling and other signs of premature aging in the skin. Even a tan is dangerous to the skin, as many doctors consider a tan to be an early sunburn. The best protection is to avoid the sun, especially during the peak hours of 10 AM to 3 PM. Always wear sunscreen on exposed skin with an SPF of at least 30. Additionally, it is important to know that you can get a sunburn through certain clothing and that tanning beds are a source of the same light that cause burns, premature aging, and skin cancer.
Actinic keratoses, also known as solar keratoses, are small rough or scaly areas of skin due to damage from sun exposure. Some actinic keratoses can turn into squamous cell skin cancer, so it is important to perform self-examinations often and catch them early.
Actinic cheilitis, sometimes known as "farmer's lip" or "sailor's lip," is a precancerous condition related to cumulative lifetime sun exposure. The lower lip is most often affected. Individuals with actinic cheilitis often complain of persistent dryness and cracking of the lips. They will frequently exhibit other effects of sun-damaged skin, such as precancerous lesions on the skin called actinic keratoses and extensive wrinkling.A certain type of skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) develops in 6–10% of cases of actinic cheilitis.
Psoriasis is a noncontagious, lifelong skin condition that affects about 2–3% of the population of the United States. People with psoriasis have thickened, red, and often scaly patches on their skin. Psoriasis is very likely to run in families, but it can also be triggered by certain situations, such as emotional stress, injury to the skin, infection, as well as taking certain medications. The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, but it seems to be caused by errors in how the immune system functions.
Sunburn is caused by the skin's reaction to ultraviolet light exposure. It appears as reddening and tenderness of the skin and usually occurs between 12 and 24 hours after the exposure. It can develop blisters and shedding of the outer layer of skin. Some oral medications used for other medical conditions, most commonly hydrochlorothiazide (a blood pressure medication) may make the skin more sensitive to sunburning.First Aid GuideIf you have suffered a sunburn:Further direct sun exposure should be avoided for a few days. Cool water or cool milk soaks may help cool and soothe the affected areas. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help decrease the redness and pain. Applying a greasy cream or ointment may actually make the pain worse by trapping the heat on the skin. Drink a lot of fluids.Do not attempt to break any blisters that may form; you can cover these with gauze if necessary. If any break on their own, a topical antibiotic ointment can be applied. A moisturizer can help with skin peeling afterward. Avoid topical products that end in "-caine" as they can sometimes further irritate the skin.Prevention is very important. To reduce risk of skin cancer later in life, sunburns should be prevented.Avoid direct sun in the middle of the day (10 AM to 3 PM). Remember: snow and water reflect light to the skin, and clouds still let a lot of light through, so you may still be exposed to ultraviolet light even on cloudy days. Use a hat with a wide brim. A baseball hat does not give much protection. Cover up with tightly woven clothing. Some manufacturers make specialty clothing with a high sun protection factor (SPF) rating, or you can purchase a special ingredient to be added to your washer that can "wash" SPF into your clothing. Use sunscreen on all exposed skin areas, including the lips, before going outdoors. A broad spectrum (blocks UVB and UVA light), with an SPF of at least 30, is best. Apply generously 30 minutes before going outdoors, and reapply every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating a lot. Do not use tanning beds!
Many dermatology patients will undergo a skin biopsy at some point during their lives, especially if they have a new lesion that could potentially be a skin cancer. During a biopsy, a sample of body tissue is taken so that a type of doctor, known as a pathologist, can examine the individual cells in the tissue under a microscope in order to make a more definitive diagnosis.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), also known as basal cell epithelioma, is the most common form of skin cancer. There are several sub-types of BCC including nodular BCC, infiltrating BCC, and superficial BCC. All types of BCC usually occur on sun-damaged skin but can occur anywhere on the body (except the palms and soles). More than 99% of people with BCC are white, and 95% are between the ages of 40 and 80. To learn more about BCC click, here.
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer annually, so it is appropriate that we continue to identify the best treatments possible. But when it comes to actually preventing skin cancer, we mostly know only about the basic rules – use sunscreen, stay out of the sun, wear long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed hats, etc. But dermatologists can offer effective topical skin cancer preventives that find and destroy precancerous cells, stopping the disease in its tracks before it takes hold. These noninvasive therapies not only prevent potential cancers from developing, they may also soften lines and wrinkles at the same time.
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the greatest cause of the most common skin cancers. UV radiation, in the form of light, can come either from the sun or from indoor tanning beds. Basal cell and squamous cell cancers, by far the most common types of skin cancer, are directly related to the total dose of UV light that the skin receives over a lifetime of exposure.
Actinic keratoses (AKs), also known as solar keratoses, are small rough or scaly areas of skin due to damage from sun exposure. Some AKs can turn into squamous cell skin cancer, so it is important to perform self-examinations often and catch them early. Spots usually appear in those who are older (over 50), but they can start appearing in younger adults who have had a lot of sun exposure. Darker-skinned individuals are rarely affected. To learn more about AKs, click here.
As daylight hours get shorter, outdoor activities are winding down and you spend less time in the sun. You may work long hours indoors with hardly any time to step outside for a few minutes of sunshine. So is wearing sunscreen necessary? A recent study argues it might be … at least if you want to slow skin aging. Seasonal Insights from Dr. Belinda Tan
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers in the US, and more than one million people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. That’s a staggering number, and that’s why preventing skin cancer is a huge health care priority. And prevent it we can – by making new habits and carefully monitoring our skin. Prevention starts with awareness, and this month, you’ll learn what you need to know about skin cancer from our team of experts, who are experienced and knowledgeable dermatologists.
Diagnosis Synopsis Merkel cell carcinomas (cutaneous neuroendocrine carcinomas) are rare skin malignancies that demonstrate both neuroendocrine and epithelial differentiation. They are so named for their histological similarity to normal Merkel cells of the skin. They most frequently occur on the head and neck of the elderly but can also be seen elsewhere on the body. White individuals have 20 times the risk of blacks for developing Merkel cell carcinoma; it is, therefore, thought that UV radiation may play a role in the pathogenesis.