Symptoms of Skin Cancer: What Are the Early Signs?

There are a few different types of skin cancer that have some various signs and symptoms that may let you know there is a problem. Skin cancer can form in many different areas and may be seen more commonly in areas that are often exposed to the sun; however, at times it will also develop in areas like palms or in the genital area that have nothing to do with a lot of sunlight.

Here’s what to look for in various different situations to let you know if you may have symptoms of skin cancer. One great resource to check is Symptoms of Skin Cancer: What Are The Early Signs?

Basal Cell Carcinoma Symptoms

Basal Cell Carcinoma usually shows up as a waxy or glossy bump or as a flesh-colored scar-like lesion. At times, it may also appear as a scabbing sore that heals but then returns.

Usually, basal cell carcinoma is found most often in areas like the neck or face that receive a lot of sun exposure over time.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Symptoms

Generally speaking, squamous cell carcinoma is going to appear as a red firm nodule or a flat lesion that has a crusted surface almost appearing scaly. This is another form of skin cancer that appears primarily on parts of your body that are exposed to the sun frequently, like the ears or face or head. If you have darker skin, you may develop this disease in areas that are not as frequently exposed to sunlight.

Melanoma Symptoms

There are a number of signs or symptoms that can be related back to melanoma. These symptoms include a large brown spot with speckles that are fairly dark. It could also be found in a mole that changes size or color or that bleeds regularly. If you have a lesion that is painful and itches or burns, or any other small lesion that has a variety of colors from red and pink to blue/black, including dark lesions on your palms, fingertips, or toes, these are all potential signs and symptoms of melanoma. 

Melanoma can occur almost anywhere on your body. It can be found simply in your skin or it may be found in an existing mole that then becomes cancerous. It is most commonly found in men on the face and it most commonly appears on women in the lower leg area. This is a disease that is not dependent on sunlight and can be found in areas that do not have high exposure to the sun.

Risk Factors

You may have an increased risk of developing skin cancer if you have one of the following risk factors. If you have fair skin, you may have less protection against harmful sunburns that could cause problems. Even though people with all kinds of skin can develop skin cancer, you should take extra precautions if you have fair skin.

If you have a long history of blistering sunburns, this is another warning sign of skin cancer. While many people tend to think less about this factor, it is true that people who live in sunny and high-altitude climates also can be at higher risk because you get more radiation if you live in higher altitudes where sunlight is strongest.


If you are worried about any recent changes to your skin, you should consult with your doctor and set up an appointment. Just because you have noticed a recent change in the skin does not mean that these changes have been developed by skin cancer, and your doctor can help you determine what the cause of those changes are and assist you in many ways.