Cancer is a scary health condition no matter what type you have. Each case and personal experience is so different that it can be hard to generalize symptoms and outcomes.

For certain types of cancer, like skin cancer, it can be easier to notice if a patch of skin changes or a mole starts to grow or change color. This is why it is important to investigate any changes quickly so you can catch a potential diagnosis early.

Our AFC Urgent Care NC team explains what to look for when it comes to skin cancer, so check our blog out below to be informed.

Are There Different Types of Skin Cancer?

Like any type of cancer, skin cancer can affect the individual person differently. There are three types of skin cancer, which are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cell are the two forms that typically appear on your face, neck or anywhere else on your body that is often exposed to the sun. These spots can look like waxy bumps, little red nodules or even a bleeding sore that seems to heal but then breaks open again.

Melanoma can be found on any part of your skin, even the parts that rarely or never see the sun. It can start to grow a normal patch of skin or it can form around a mole and grow from there. Melanoma can appear as a brown patch on your skin, as a painful lesion or through a mole that changes color, size or texture.

Additional Skin Changes to Watch

  • A new and unexplained growth or sore
  • A changing mole
  • Skin itchiness
  • Brown or discolored patches
  • The appearance of a lump under the skin

How Can I Protect My Skin Each Day?

Even just a single sunburn can increase your risk for skin cancer, so protecting your skin should always be a top priority for you. UV rays from the sun or from tanning beds permanently damage your skin. Avoid tanning beds completely, and wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day.

Your sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, even if it is cloudy! The UV rays can get through cloud cover and give you just as painful of a burn as you get on a sunny day. In addition, wear a hat and sunglasses and take frequent breaks in the shade.

Treating Mild Sunburns

  • Apply a cool, wet cloth to the skin.
  • Apply aloe gel or a moisturizing lotion.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Stay out of the sun while the burn heals.

Sun safety is crucial throughout your life. If you notice a change to your skin, come see us at one of our AFC Urgent Care NC locations.