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Warning Signs You Need to See a Dermatologist for Skin Cancer Risk

Posted on: May 17th, 2022 by Dr. Christopher Crosby

About 20% of Americans develop skin cancer at some point in their lives, but as far as cancer goes, it is one of the easiest types to survive. This is especially true for patients who seek treatment for their skin cancer early on. To get it treated early, you need to detect it early, so it’s helpful to know the warning signs to look for. The team at Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic advises you to keep an eye on the following potential signs of skin cancers:


To keep on top of melanoma risks, the number one thing to look out for is the appearance of your moles. New moles or moles that get larger or develop asymmetry or irregular pigmentation should be viewed with the most suspicion.  

Patches of Red Skin

Red, itchy patches on the skin are sometimes an indicator of basal cell carcinomas. Although rashes may also warrant a doctor’s attention, these patches are distinct from most rashes because they are raised. They may also appear as multi-colored shiny bumps on the skin.  


Skin that is dry and scaly may be a sign of actinic keratosis, a condition that often precedes squamous cell carcinoma. This scaliness is most likely to develop in areas that are exposed to sunlight. To check whether your rough skin is temporary or a sign of precancer, try using moisturizer. If the skin remains scaly, then you should see a doctor.


Slight changes in the skin, particularly on the legs or face, may be a sign of Kaposi sarcoma. Lesions are often flat and look more like spots. Because they do not cause any irritation, they are one of the easiest signs to overlook.

Ongoing Itchiness

A new cancerous lump is sometimes itchy. For this reason, you may mistake it for a bug bite initially. However, if that bump does not fade and the itchiness continues, it is worth having a doctor examination.

Skin Changes of Any Kind

Remain vigilant about any changes you notice on your skin. Whether you notice a change in pigmentation or texture or a new growth altogether, it is better to be overly cautious than to ignore a sign when you first noticed it.

Early detection makes skin cancer treatment much easier. The doctors at Grossmont Dermatology encourage you to visit one of our experts if you are concerned with something on your skin. Call or text (619) 462-1670 to make an appointment at our La Mesa, CA office.

Coastal Skin & Eye Institute/Grossmont Dermatology