There are numerous signs that might be indicative of the fact that you have contracted skin cancer, or, at the very least, are at risk for contracting skin cancer. These signs can be a bit difficult to notice, so it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with what they are.
Actinic keratosis manifests itself on the body as small, scaly patches that appear on the skin that can also take on the appearance of a scab if you continuously pick at it. They are caused by too much exposure to the sun and usually appear on the hands, neck, or head, but this does not preclude them from appearing elsewhere on your body.
Actinic keratosis is not necessarily a sign of skin cancer, but if you notice them in abundance or if they persist over a long period of time, it is bet to have them checked out by your trusted physician. Most doctors will recommend early treatment in order to prevent the potential growth of skin cancer.
Actinic cheilitis is an issue related to actinic keratosis and is generally referred to as "farmer's lip". Most of the symptoms are the same as actinic keratosis, but actinic cheilitis manifests itself on the lower lip. There will usually be a scaly patch that appears in the center of your lower lip, but it can also appear through the entirety of the lower lip and even in the area between the lower lip and chin. It is highly recommended that farmer's lip be treated or, at the very least, examined, before it has the time to exacerbate itself. If not treated, actinic cheilitis can turn into squamous cell carcinoma.
Cutaneous horns are one of the most easily noticeable potential signs of skin cancer. They will appear to you as large raised areas over the surface of the skins, its appearance lending itself to the name of "horns". The horns are quite tough and hard and are largely composed of keratin, which is the same thing of which fingernails are composed.
Cutaneous horns are actually a form of actinic keratosis. Cutaneous horns can affect everyone, but they largely appear on fair skinned elderly individuals with prolonged exposure to the sun's UV rays. They are typically a few millimeters in length.
A mole is usually not a problem and they tend to not be indicative of an issue related to skin cancer. However, atypical or irregular looking moles can be strong indicators that you might be suffering from skin cancer; these moles can develop themselves into melanoma over time. If you notice any moles that are significantly raised above the grain of the skin, contain a multitude of colors or are irregularly colored (deviating from the normal brownish tinge), are irregularly shaped, or are larger than the size of a pencil eraser, then these all might be signs that you posses a mole that might be indicative of the fact that you have skin cancer. If you notice these moles at all, contact your physician right away.
When it comes to skin cancer, it is imperative that you recognize the signs associated with it. Take the time to educate yourself about how to spot these signs and how to prevent them before the situation exacerbates itself. To learn more, contact a company like Vail Dermatology.