Many people find it when they notice a spot, lump, or scaly area on their skin that is growing or feels different from the rest of their skin. If you notice any spot on your skin that is growing, bleeding, or changing in any way, see a board-certified dermatologist. These doctors have the most training and experience in diagnosing skin cancer.
And we’ll use this opportunity to remind you of the importance of a good sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher, liberally applied and then reapplied every two hours. You can avoid so many skin cancers with a little bit of common sense and the protection of hats, clothing with SPF, and the proper application of sunscreen.
Carrie L. Kovarik, MD, FAAD
Natalie H. Matthews, MD, FAAD
Darrell S. Rigel, MD, FAAD
- Skin cancer types: Basal cell carcinoma signs and symptoms
- Pimple or Skin Cancer Bump?
- Five Uncommon Signs of Skin Cancer to Watch For
- 7 warning signs of basal cell carcinoma that you could mistake as harmless
- How to Tell the Difference Between a Pimple and Skin Cancer Bump
- What do Skin Cancer Bumps Look Like
- More pictures of basal cell carcinoma
- Video for “Does skin cancer look like acne products?”
- More pictures for “Does skin cancer look like acne products?”
Skin cancer types: Basal cell carcinoma signs and symptoms
Is there a form of skin cancer that looks like a pimple? Yes, there are some variations of skin cancer that could resemble a pimple, especially in the earliest stages. Tiny skin cancer lumps on the skin that refuse to heal can look like acne. Discover how to tell the difference between a pimple and a skin cancer bump.
May be interested:
Pimple or Skin Cancer Bump?
There are some situations where skin cancer may resemble a pimple. According to Dr. Wofford, “In the early stages, a lot of skin cancer looks like one tiny spot or bump on the skin, and patients ignore it, assuming it will clear up. These lesions may sometimes look similar to pimples, so it’s important to seek a professional opinion if you ever have a spot that looks like a pimple but isn’t clearing up or changes quickly.”
While there are multiple forms of this disease, the skin cancer that most looks like a pimple is basal cell skin cancer, which is the most common type. Especially in its earliest stages, basal cell carcinoma may appear as a tiny red bump that could bleed or puss, but instead of healing post-eruption, it will hold on and continue to grow. Here are some early warning signs that could point to a basal cell skin cancer lump that might be mistaken for a pimple:
To find skin cancer early, dermatologists recommend that everyone check their own skin with a skin self-exam. This is especially important for people who have a higher risk of developing basal cell carcinoma.
Five Uncommon Signs of Skin Cancer to Watch For
If you find any of the following signs on your skin, see a board-certified dermatologist. Board-certified dermatologists know how to tell the difference between something small and something major.
May be interested:
7 warning signs of basal cell carcinoma that you could mistake as harmless
Believe it or not, melanomas can appear on the eye; we refer to them as ocular melanomas . If you have a history of melanoma, it is recommended that you have an eye exam once a year. Dermatologists may notice these when examining the eye as a routine annual checkup but the findings can be very subtle. You may not even notice yourself. It is often the case that your eye doctor finds it during a routine eye exam.
Squamous cell carcinoma is another common type of skin cancer. It typically looks like a firm, red bump that is often rough or scaly on the top. Over time, these lesions may enlarge to become scaly patches of skin that are easily damaged and may bleed frequently. Like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma lesions most frequently develop on parts of the body exposed to sunlight.
How to Tell the Difference Between a Pimple and Skin Cancer Bump
Dr. Wofford says, “Another common question we get is about whether cancer can look like a mole, and the answer to this one is yes as well. The most dangerous form of skin cancer, melanoma, may initially look like a new mole or freckle or may develop within an existing dark spot. Anytime you notice changes in existing moles or freckles, you should have a dermatologist examine the lesion, especially if the spot grows or changes quickly.”
Melanoma is actually a relatively rare form of skin cancer. However, although rare, it is the cause of the majority of skin cancer-related deaths because it is much more likely to metastasize (spread to other tissues and systems in the body). Melanoma most often looks like an irregular mole and can develop within existing moles, freckles, and age spots. However, melanoma most frequently develops as a new dark spot on the skin.
Reproduction or republication strictly prohibited
without prior written permission.
What do Skin Cancer Bumps Look Like
This skin cancer tends to be one color, but the color can vary from one basal cell carcinoma to the next. This cancer may be:
May be interested:
More pictures of basal cell carcinoma
The most common symptoms to look for include:
Melanoma skin cancers may begin as benign moles or they can arise de novo on the skin. If you have a mole that becomes elevated, loses color, and looks like the color of regular skin, it is worth visiting your dermatologist’s office, as this can be a form of skin cancer.