Skin Disease & Care
TYPES OF SKIN CANCER:
Cancer of the skin is a result of uncontrolled growth of the different types of cells in the skin layer. Excessive exposure to sunlight over a long time is one of the major predisposing factors to skin cancer. Skin cancer commonly presents with skin lesions which may be pigmented or non-pigmented. The most common skin cancers are basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer and melanoma. Kaposi sarcoma has become a common skin cancer in patients with HIV and AIDS. Skin cancer generally develops in the outermost layer of the skin and majority of skin cancers can be detected at early stage. Very few if any patients will actually die from skin cancer itself.
What does skin cancer look like?
Actinic Keratoses (AK):
These dry, scaly patches or spots are precancerous growths
• People who get AKs usually have fair skin.
• Most people see their first AKs after 40 years of age because AKs tend to develop after years of sun exposure.
• AKs usually form on the skin that gets lots of sun exposure, such as the head, neck, hands, and forearms.
• Because an AK can progress to a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), treatment is important.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
This is the most common type of skin cancer.
• BCCs frequently develop in people who have fair skin.
• BCCs look like a flesh-colored, pearl-like bump.
• BCCs develop after years of sun exposure or indoor tanning.
• BCC are common on the head, neck, and arms.
• Early diagnosis and treatment for BCC is important. BCC can invade the surrounding tissue and grow into the nerves and bones, causing damage and disfigurement.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
SCC is the second most common type of skin cancer
• People who have light skin are most likely to develop SCC, yet they can develop in darker-skinned people.
• SCC often looks like a red firm bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals and then reopens.
• SCC tend to form on skin that gets frequent sun exposure, such as the rim of the ear, face, neck, arms, chest, and back. SCC 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 is the deadliest form of skin cancer.
• Melanoma frequently develops in a mole or suddenly appears as a new dark spot on the skin.
• Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial.
• Knowing the ABCDE warning signs of melanoma can help you find an early melanoma.
What is a lipoma?
A lipoma is a soft fatty non-cancerous lump that can occur in any part of the body where there are fat cells. Lipomas often form in the fatty tissue under the skin. The most common sites are on the shoulders, the chest and the back. Lipomas can less commonly form inside the body too. Some people inherit a tendency to develop lipomas and may have several on different parts of the body. Sometimes as many as 20 or more develop. Lipomas can occur in people who are normal weight as well as people who are overweight.
What are the symptoms of a lipoma?
Lipomas are not dangerous most cause no symptoms and they grow very slowly. Sometimes a lipoma under the skin can be unsightly if it grows big. Rarely, a lipoma may press on another structure and cause problems. For example, if one presses on a nerve it may cause pain.There is a condition called familial multiple lipoma in which multiple lipomas form. This is an uncommon condition and runs in families.
Do I need any treatment for a lipoma?
Lipomas can be removed for cosmetic reasons for example, if they occur on your face. Occasionally, a lipoma needs to be removed if it is causing symptoms such as pressure symptoms. Sometimes a lipoma inside the body is removed to examine under a microscope to make sure the growth has no cancer cells.
For a lipoma that forms under the skin, usually it can be removed by a simple minor operation.
Other Skin Conditions
Other common skin conditions:
A small and benign growth that resembles a tumour but is typically a growth that is comprised mostly of fibrous or connective tissue. They can grow anywhere on the body, sometimes presenting themselves as red bumps on skin or a small lump on the head.
Typically either flesh coloured or darkly pigmented, skin tags ‘grow’ from the skin out of a small stalk-like growth.
This is a condition in which the sebaceous glands become inflamed and produce yellowish or flesh coloured bumps on the face. Often associated with acne.
Also known as seborrhoeic keratoses among many other names, senile warts are non-cancerous skin tumours that appear as brownish red bumps on the skin and feature more prominently among older people.
Usually located on or around the eyelids, Xanthelasma is a yellow tinged fatty deposit that is not harmful and can be removed with lump treatment.
These common, liquid-filled cysts typically present themselves as a benign lump on the head or will often grow on the face, torso or neck. While they are not life threatening, sebaceous cysts can become quite uncomfortable.
Also known as xanthomas, cholesterol deposits vary in size, are typically flat and soft, and usually appear fleshy or yellowish in colour. They can occasionally present as red bumps on skin.
Also known as Campbell de Morgan spots, cherry angiomas are skin growths that present as red bumps on skin due to the broken blood vessels that give them their cherry-like appearance.