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What are the different types of skin cancer?

Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells that develops on areas of the skin exposed to the sun’s UVA & UVB rays. There are many types of skin cancer including:

Actinic Keratosis – Dry, scaly patches or spots.

  • Typically those diagnosed with actinic keratosis have fair skin.
  • Most people see this develop after the age of 40 from years of sun exposure.
  • Actinic keratosis typically forms on the skin exposed to lots of sun such as the head, neck, hands and forearms.

Basal Cell Carcinoma – The most common type of skin cancer.

  • This skin cancer frequently develops in people who have fair skin.
  • It looks like a flesh-colored, pearl-like bump or a pinkish patch of skin.
  • It usually develops after years of frequent sun exposure or indoor tanning.
  • The head, neck and arms are the most common areas where Basal Cell Carcinoma is found.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment is important.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) – The second most common type of skin cancer.

  • People who have light skin are most likely to develop SCC, yet it can develop in darker-skinned people.
  • Appears as a red, firm bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals and then reopens.
  • Tends to form on skin that gets frequent skin exposure, such as the rim of the ear, face, neck, arms, chest, or back. SSC can grow deep in the skin and cause damage and disfigurement.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent this and stop SCC from spreading to other areas of the body.

Melanoma – The deadliest form of skin cancer.

  • It frequently develops in a mole or suddenly appears as a new dark spot on the skin.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment is critical.

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AMA AAD ACMS National Psoriasis Foundation

May 20, 2018

The Skin Cancer Foundation