Callender Dermatology and Cosmetic Center | Glenn Dale MD

Is the blemish on my skin cancerous?

Skin conditionsSkin conditions vary greatly from person to person. Maybe your skin is completely smooth with even complexion. But more likely you have a number of blemishes on your skin. Some need to be checked out by your dermatologist while others are completely harmless.

If you find a new mark or notice that an existing mark has changed, give it a closer look. To make your evaluation process a bit easier, we’ve separated the questionable blemishes from blemishes that most likely aren’t cause for alarm.

Get these marks checked out:

Moles – Some moles may have been on your skin for your entire life. Most of the time, these moles are harmless. But if you’ve noticed a new mole or an existing mole has changed in size, shape, or color, the mole may be cancerous. Moles are brown or black, protrude from your skin, and appear singularly or in bunches. Moles, often harmless, typically grow on the skin through the age of 30. And moles can be removed for both medical and cosmetic reasons.

Freckles – Depending on your skin tone, you likely have freckles. They’re incredibly common, especially for fair-skinned patients. They do not protrude from your skin and often show up on your face, arms, and shoulders during the sunny summer months. Most of the time, freckles are harmless. But they indicate exposure to the sun, which could lead to skin cancer.

Lentigines – Lentigines are similar to freckles in that they are brown or black and do not protrude from the skin. They also can be a result of sun damage. And while a lentigine may not be cancerous on its own, continued sun damage could also lead to sun damage. Topical medication or laser procedures can provide effective removal.

Do not worry about these marks:

Skin tags – Skin tags may be tough to notice as they’re typically the same color as your skin. Luckily, they most likely are not indicative of skin cancer. However, they can be very annoying. Removal is an option for cosmetic purposes.

Seborrheic keratoses – Seborrheic keratoses are much more noticeable than skin tags but are also not harmful most of the time. Dark spots that protrude from the skin appear on your chest and back, and the condition is often a result of aging.

If you’re unsure about whether or not the mark on your skin is potentially cancerous, it’s better to be cautious. Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist for a professional consultation.

Posted in: Skin Cancer

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