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The Silent Signs of Skin Cancer

By Sara Butler

Most people are under the impression that if something serious, such as skin cancer, is going on with your body, then you’ll be able to identify it. That’s not always the case. While it’s a good idea to check your skin over every year and to wear sunscreen whenever you spend time outside, you should also be on the lookout for a few more subtle signs that you need a medical assessment. Here are some signs of skin cancer you shouldn’t ignore.

A Mole In Disguise!

Most people stay diligent and on the lookout for dark or brown moles that could potentially cause problems, but there are also types of skin cancer that aren’t dark. Amelanotic melanoma is a type of skin cancer that produces a red or light pink mark. It can be challenging to spot simply because people are so conditioned to look for dark spots. If you see a spot like this, then make sure to have it checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible.

You Bleed While Shaving

Squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma are two types of skin cancer that can bleed very easy if nicked. If one is present on a part of your body that often gets shaved, then you may notice bleeding regularly in a particular spot when you do. Make sure to look carefully and bring this to the attention of your doctor.

Your Nail has a Dark Band

A defined, vertical dark mark on your toenail or fingernail may indicate trauma to the nail -- or it might mean you have a form of skin cancer. Look closely at the band to determine if it’s different shades of black or brown and if it is larger than three millimeters wide. If so, then have it looked at because it could be a sign something else is going on.

One Mole isn’t Like the Others

If you have several very dark moles but one reddish mole or light brown one, then that can be a sign of skin cancer. Doctors often call this the “ugly duckling sign” since the mole doesn’t quite belong with the others. This is also true of any mole pattern that differs from the rest – perhaps it's darker or smaller. Have this strange mole looked at by a doctor to make sure it’s nothing bad.

Skin cancer is a serious condition, so make sure to care for your skin and have any suspicious spots or moles checked out by a medical professional. It never hurts to ask for a professional opinion! 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Shreveport, La.

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