Protecting your skin in the summer, even on overcast days, should be the first step in your cosmetic routine, as skin cancer is on the rise. If protection and prevention are your priorities, it’s vital to pay special attention to the symptoms of skin cancer and spot potential signs. Remember, every tan or burn you get this summer potentially increases your risk of getting skin cancer.

Here are 5 symptoms of skin cancer that should alert you:

  1. a painful mole.
    If your mole has suddenly become painful, itchy and tender, this is not a good sign and you should consult your doctor.
  2. Displaced moles
    If you have a new or displaced brown spot, see a board-certified dermatologist to have it checked. The appearance of new brown spots is normal until age 30, but after that time, each new spot should be checked. Check to see if the mole looks the same on both sides, if it has irregular edges, and if the mole changes color or size.
  3. Persistent scabs.
    Sores and scabs that do not heal for more than 2 weeks can be a problem. This may be a squamous cell carcinoma. Like basal cell carcinoma, it is rare but can develop in young patients, especially if there is a history of sunburn.
  4. Strange Tubercles.
    Moles are not the only tubers to be wary of. If you have a new bump on your skin that is flesh-colored or pearly, it should be examined. It may be a basal cell carcinoma. If you notice a new flesh-colored or pink bump on an area of skin that has been exposed to the sun, you should definitely see your dermatologist for an examination.
  5. Scaly skin.
    Skin cancer can also manifest itself as scaly skin. Pre-cancerous lesions, called actinic keratoses, look like tiny, grainy, scaly patches on a red or pink base that can often be removed with a fingernail, but then reappear in the same place. If left untreated, they can develop into squamous cell cancer. To protect your skin, always apply SPF cream, wear a hat and sunglasses.

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