7 Unusual Signs of Skin Cancer You Might Miss

31 May 2021 | Category: Medical

The Sunday Mirror’s feature on skin cancer included expert advice from Dr Ross Perry, who has removed thousands of moles in his career as Medical Director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics. He also works as a GP and in skin cancer reconstruction for the NHS.

The Sunday Mirror article explains the importance of being aware of the risks of skin cancer:

“Skin cancer kills 2,500 Brits every year – but when diagnosed early enough, it remains extremely treatable.

“While most of us know we should watch out for new or changing moles, some of the more unusual signs might take you by surprise – and save your life.”

Dr Perry discussed 7 potential signs of skin cancer that are less well known:

1/ Unexplained scars

“If you have a scar-like patch of skin which appears entirely out of nowhere and continually grows it could be a sign of basal cell carcinoma (BCC). This is a cancer that grows on parts of your skin that are exposed to a lot of sun.

“It might look skin-coloured, waxy, like a scar or a thickened area of skin. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer and fortunately it’s also the least risky type as long as you get it checked out early.”

2/ Pearly lesions on the eyelids

“Around 85-95% of eyelid cancers in non-Asian countries are basal cell skin cancers.

“Malignant (cancerous) growths on the eyelid can appear brown, black, red or flesh-coloured (pearly-looking). They may be crusty or sore, itchy and tender and appear shiny and waxy looking. It is important to be aware of any changes such as appearance, shape, colour and growth.

“To protect your eyelids from UV exposure, wear sunglasses, ­sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat, which can block out up to half of the sun’s UV rays from eyes and eyelids.”

3/ Black marks under nails

“Subungual melanoma, which can appear under a toenail or fingernail, can easily be mistaken for a bruise. Most often these appear under the nails of your thumb or big toe and are often caused by repeated injury or trauma to those areas.

“Subungual melanoma can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated so it’s important to get checked out as soon as you can.”

4/ Itchy scalp

“Basal cell carcinoma can appear on the scalp but are relatively low risk and less rare.

“Squamous cell carcinoma can also be found on the scalp and are more common on those with fair skin who are often exposed to the sun. These can appear as scaly red patches, open sores, rough, thickened or wart-like skin, or raised growths with a central depression that may itch or bleed.

“Melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer, can also be found on the scalp and will appear as a mole or skin growth.

“It’s perfectly normal to have moles on the scalp but if you notice it changing shape, texture or colour it needs to be looked at. If you notice any unusual patches of skin on your scalp, see your GP or dermatologist immediately.”

5/ A sore that won’t heal

“A sore that doesn’t heal can appear as lumpy, dry and scaly and it could well be a basal cell carcinoma. The sore may also be itchy, bleed and look crusty in appearance with scabs that form. Again the best thing to do is get it looked at early.”

6/ Insect bites that don’t go away

“You might think you’ve been bitten but insect bites tend to go away within a couple of weeks or gradually fade and get smaller. If something isn’t disappearing and resembles a bite, it could be entirely harmless but it could also be a sign of skin cancer. So if it’s persistent and causing discomfort, see a doctor.”

7/ A pale patch of skin on the head or neck

“A BCC can appear as a pale patch of smooth or pearly/white skin on the head or neck. It tends to occur on skin which is frequently exposed to the sun, so most often appears on the face, head and neck. I’d recommend that if you notice anything unusual on the skin that shows no sign of going away after four weeks then book an appointment with your GP or dermatologist.

“It can be helpful to take photos to monitor changes. It can be more difficult to notice changes on darker skin so get a friend or family member to help do your checks.”

Anyone who is concerned about an unusual or changing blemish is advised to see their GP to rule out skin cancer.

As Seen in Sunday Mirror

Read this article in full https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/7-unusual-signs-skin-cancer-24211440.

You may also be interested in:

Mole Checks By Experienced Doctors & Surgeons

Cosmedics Skin Clinics offer a top to toe mole check, which assesses every part of the skin to identify any potential issues. This is carried out by trained and experienced doctors or surgeons. Most moles do turn out to be ‘cosmetic’ issues rather than a ‘medical’ concern. However, when a mole is found to be suspicious, early treatment tends to lead to the best results.


Mole Removal

Even when there is no medical risk, many clients want to get rid of moles for aesthetic reasons or for peace of mind. Dr Perry has removed thousands in his career and Cosmedics Skin Clinic is a leading provider of mole removal procedures in the UK with clinics in London and Bristol, carrying out thousands of procedures to remove unwanted moles for cosmetic reasons.

Consultations and mole removal surgery are carried out by experienced doctors who can remove moles same day using local anaesthetic to make the treatment completely pain-free. The team use the latest methods designed for minimal-scarring results after healing. All moles are sent for independent lab testing as a precaution and the results are sent to the client within a few days.


For further information, you may also be interested in Dr Ross Perry Guide to Mole Removal Techniques.

Cosmedics Skin Clinics

Cosmedics Skin Clinics was established in 2003 and has built up an excellent reputation for cosmetic and medical skin treatments, carried out by GMC Registered Doctors.  The company offer a full range of cosmetic treatments, including popular lip enhancement and wrinkle relaxing injections, dermal fillers; plus medical treatments including mole removal, thread vein treatment and excessive sweating injections.

Cosmedics Skin Clinics has a team of skin treatment doctors and surgeons in their 5 skin clinics across London and Bristol led by Dr Ross Perry.

Call 020 7386 0464 or email enquiries@cosmedics.co.uk to book an appointment.


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