You normally think about skin cancer in the summer but it is a year-round threat. The effects of the past summer’s activities or even your childhood years ago may be precipitated at any time. As with any cancer early detection is key with skin cancer so if you have concerns you should consult a dermatologist or your general practitioner.

Basal cell carcinoma usually looks like a pink, pearly bump that does not heal. The pearly appearance gleams. This may be treated with a salve if caught early enough.

Squamous cell carcinoma is more serious. It is a red, scaly bump that also does not heal. Treatment may include a salve or incision.

The worst skin cancer is melanoma. It manifests itself as a new or changing mole. The edges will be irregular and it may have several different colors within its edges. This cancer must be surgically removed as it may move elsewhere in the body.

The sun is not your friend. To reduce the risks of skin cancer avoid or cover up from the sun and use suntan lotion with an SPF rating of 30 or more. Ratings above 30 do not protect you more, just longer. Make sure your lotion or spray contains titanium or zinc for full protection. Wear UPF sun protection clothing which is available at sporting goods stores and department stores.

Skin cancer treatment depends on the type and depth. It can be scrape and burn, incision, radiation, creams topically or Mohs surgery. The longer you wait before the cancer is detected the more difficult and lengthy the treatment will be so see your doctor as soon as you have a question.

For more information about skin cancer, its causes, detection and treatment call 972-736-3375 or contact your primary care physician.

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