Skin is the largest organ of the body. Regardless of texture or color, skin can cause health conditions that are potentially life-threatening. Routine skin checks are necessary at every age for optimal health.
Potential Skin Conditions
Not all skin conditions are obvious. It is possible to have bumps, lumps, or discoloration that is hardly noticeable without a skin check. Skin conditions vary in severity and can include acne, allergic reactions, and melanoma.
Skin cancer is a frequently diagnosed condition that can be fatal if left untreated. Caused by an abnormal growth of skin cells, this type of cancer usually occurs in areas that are exposed to sunlight. To help prevent this type of cancer, wearing sunscreen and having routine checkups are recommended.
Types of Skin Cancer
There are a few different forms of skin cancer that can occur. Although certain cancers can be predicted from family history, anyone is at potential risk for skin cancer.
Basal cell carcinoma usually appears on the neck or face. This may look like a lump with a waxy texture. It is primarily flesh-colored or brown and can cause sores. People with a darker skin tone are increasingly likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma in non-sun-exposed areas.
Melanoma can develop anywhere in the body. People with lighter skin tones typically experience warning signs on their faces or torso. When doing a skin check, melanoma often shows up in moles. A mole that has changed color can be an indication of this kind of skin cancer.
Merkel cell carcinoma is one of the rare skin cancers. This presents as firm nodules just beneath the skin’s surface. It can also appear in hair follicles. While the head and face are the primary areas affected, this type of skin cancer can also be found on the neck.
A skin check routine can be done in the privacy of an individual’s home. Medical checks from a trained physician are necessary on a yearly basis.
An accurate view of the entire body is necessary to perform a skin check. Using a full-length mirror is often the easiest way to do a self-check. Areas that are commonly missed include palms, feet, and scalp.
Moles that have increased in size or bleeding are signs to consider visiting a physician. By wearing sunscreen and incorporating a skin check into daily life, the chances for skin cancer decrease.