Costhetics has a surprise for you. It’s not a fun surprise like a balloon or a pony, it’s an alarming bit of news about women’s skin health.
You may already know that skin cancer generally develops due to sun exposure. However, it can also develop on parts of the skin not ordinarily exposed to sunlight.
Early detection of skin cancer is your best weapon in treating it. Knowledge about skin cancer is your best way of beating it. To help you do that, Costhetics has done a deep dive into the latest news and information about this dangerous problem. You’ll be pleased to know we found dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and other healthcare professionals ready to come to your assistance.
A Skin Cancer by Any Other Name Is Still Dangerous
There are several types of skin cancers threatening women’s health. The most common are:
- Basal cell carcinoma affects sun-exposed areas of the body. It can cause a waxy bump, a flat brown lesion, and/or a sore that doesn’t heal.
- Squamous cell carcinoma is also related to sun exposure on pale-skinned people. People with darker skin tones are most likely to develop the red nodules and flat lesions on skin that has not been exposed to the sun.
- Melanoma can develop anywhere on a woman’s body, though it most commonly occurs on the lower legs. Women with darker skin tones are more likely to develop this cancer on the soles of their feet, palms, or underneath fingernails and toenails.
Less common skin cancers include:
- Kaposi sarcoma – a rare form of skin cancer related to a weakened immune system.
- Merkel cell carcinoma – causes firm, shiny nodules to develop on the head, neck, and trunk.
- Sebaceous gland carcinoma – an aggressive cancer that originates in the skin’s oil glands that can develop anywhere on the body but is commonly found on the eyelids.
Do You Have Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer is everyone’s problem. It affects people with all types of skin tones, including dark complexions. Skin cancers most often develop on the parts of the body most often exposed to the sun. For women, these include:
What may surprise you to learn is that skin cancer can also develop on areas that receive much less sun exposure such as:
- Underneath the fingernails
- Underneath the toenails
- Inside/outside the ears
Skin cancer can also develop in your genital area, even if you’re not into nude sunbathing.
5 Common Skin Cancer Risk Factors
Women who should be extra vigilant about skin cancer include those with:
- Fair complexion – People with fair skin have less melanin (pigment) in their skin to protect them from UV radiation. Blonde hair, red hair, light-coloured eyes, and freckles are all signs that you should monitor your skin carefully.
- Past sunburns – Sunburn from childhood and the teenage years are lying in wait to present as skin cancer in adulthood. (Don’t you wish you could turn back time?) Adult sunburn should be avoided too, of course.
- High-exposure activities – Spending a considerable amount of time in the sun for work or play is a quick ticket to skin cancer. Use sunscreen and protective clothing to stay safe and cancer-free.
- Medications – Antibiotics, and a host of prescription and over-the-counter drugs can make skin sun-sensitive. Be sure to take extra precautions to stay out of the sun and wear sunscreen.
- Moles – Large, irregularly shaped moles have a greater chance of becoming cancerous. Monitor your moles regularly and watch for changes.
Don’t Wonder, Go See a Pro for Skin Cancer Worries
The bottom line is that regular skin cancer checks with a trained professional are your best defence against disease. If you need help locating a doctor in your area, Costhetics can help. Visit our find a doctor page to get started.
If you love the skin you’re in, Costhetics says get your skin cancer check now! (They don’t hurt. Really.)