Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the world, and it can become very serious and difficult to treat if not detected early. Therefore, it is important for people to regularly examine their skin and recognize which spots are not concerning versus which ones are concerning. Many of us have moles or freckles on our skin and it’s important to keep an eye on them. As long as they do not begin changing in size, shape or color, they are typically not concerning. Also, many people will begin developing new spots on their skin as they age. Many of these are benign, such as seborrheic keratosis, which are usually appear light brown, bumpy and scaly.
You should become concerned when a spot or lesion on the skin doesn’t heal or keeps coming back. These lesions often bleed or continue to crust over or scab. You also need to be on the lookout for moles on the skin that turn black or bluish in color or if a dark spot begins to develop within a lighter colored mole. Watch for any moles or spots that begin to change rapidly in size, shape or color.
If you are concerned about a spot or growth on your skin, it is important to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or a dermatologist as soon as possible to be professionally examined. Like all cancer, the sooner it’s detected, the better the treatment outcomes.
Cone Health has an exceptional network of primary care providers, dermatologists and other related healthcare providers dedicated to educating their patients about skin cancer, how to best protect themselves from sun damage and providing the best possible treatment. To find a primary care provider or dermatologist near you, visit http://www.conehealth.com/find-a-doctor/.
Layne Weaver is a family nurse practitioner at LeBauer HealthCare at Oak Ridge and a member of the Cone Health Medical Group. Weaver received a Bachelor of Science in nursing from UNCG School of Nursing in 1996 and received a Master’s degree in advanced practice nursing, concentrating in family practice, from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing in 2011.