While many of us are quick to use sun protection in the hot weather, others neglect to take the necessary precautions, and this puts them at a higher risk of developing skin cancer.
As a result of not wearing sun protection, some people may notice their skin changing, specifically mole changes and other marks appearing as a result of the high temperatures. Searching these symptoms online can often be misleading and even dangerous, therefore it is strongly advisable for all patients who have noticed changes in their skin to visit a specialist for a check-up.
Skin cancer can present itself in a few varied forms, the most common being changes to moles, freckles or simply a small patch of skin. People who know their skin will be aware of any sudden changes to their pigmentation or freckles and/or moles, whereas those who don’t may not notice a problem until it’s too late. If you’re concerned about any area on your body that you can’t reach, ask your partner or friend to check these areas for any signs of concern.
The symptoms of skin cancer may appear as:
- Spots and sores
- Red skin patches
- Flat, red spots (scaly and crusty)
Other symptoms to look out for include:
- Scabbing of the skin
- Itchy patches
- Heals but then returns
- Occasional bleeding
- Slowly develops into a painless ulcer
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, it’s strongly advised that you visit your nearest GP for a check-up or with a skin cancer specialist. Additionally, if you have noticed any sudden changes to your skin (moles appearing, changing shape, spreading etc) again, it’s advised that you get them checked.
If you’re leaving your skin exposed and unprotected against the sun, you’re at a higher risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancers. The easiest way to spot skin cancer early is to know how your skin usually looks. For example, if you notice a new mole, spot or patch of skin that has suddenly appeared and doesn’t go away or heal within 4 weeks, it’s advised you see your doctor to confirm it’s nothing serious.