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Protecting your skin in the summer, even in cloudy weather, should be the first step in your beauty routine as skin cancer grows. While protection and prevention are your priorities, being especially aware of skin cancer symptoms and spotting potential signs can be vital. Remember that every tan or burn you get this summer potentially increases your risk of getting skin cancer.

Here are 5 symptoms of skin cancer that should alert you:

  1. a painful mole.
    If your mole has suddenly become painful, itchy and tender, it’s not a good sign and you should see your doctor.
  2. Dislocated moles
    If you have a new or displaced brown spot, visit a board-certified dermatologist to have it checked. The appearance of new brown spots is normal until age 30, but after that time every new spot should be checked. Check to see if the mole looks the same on both sides, if it has uneven edges, and if the mole changes color or size.
  3. Persistent scabs.
    Wounds and scabs that do not heal for more than 2 weeks may be a problem. This may be squamous cell carcinoma. Like basal cell carcinomas, they are rare but can develop in younger patients, especially if there is a history of sunburn.
  4. Strange tubercles.
    Moles are not the only bumps to look out for. If you have a new bump on your skin that is flesh-colored or pearly, it should be examined. It could be basal cell carcinoma. If you notice a new flesh-colored or pink bump on an area of skin that has been exposed to the sun, you should definitely visit a dermatologist for an examination.
  5. Scaly skin.
    Skin cancer can also appear as patchy skin. Pre-cancerous lesions, called actinic keratoses, look like tiny, grainy, scaly spots on a red or pink base that can often be peeled off with a fingernail, but then reappear in the same place. If left untreated, they can develop into squamous cell cancer. To protect your skin, always apply SPF cream, wear a hat and sunglasses.

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