Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. In fact, more than 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day in the United States alone. Skin cancer, like many cancers, doesn’t just appear in one form. Skin cancer can appear as one of the four primary types. The four types of skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, Merkel cell cancer, and melanoma. Even within these four types of cancer, the appearance of cancer can vary. One common question people often ask is if cancer can look like a scab and how to tell the two apart.
Scab or Cancer: Spot the Difference
It’s important to be able to spot the difference between a cancerous lesion and a scab for cancer detection. Scabbing occurs as the body’s natural response to a wound that broke the skin. The scab provides a protective barrier on the skin while it repairs itself. These protective barriers are only temporary, and scabs will eventually fall off after the skin has healed.
Skin cancer, however, is often identified as an abnormal growth or skin change. Skin cancer is typically unusual in color, asymmetrical in shape, and may have an irregular border. Certain types of cancers like squamous cell carcinoma, basal Cell Carcinoma, or Bowen’s disease on the skin can cause open wounds that will naturally scab, but that doesn’t mean the scab is cancer.
The biggest difference between a scab and cancer comes down to its behavior. Cancerous skin lesions will cause recurring scabbing and never seem to heal properly. However, a non-cancerous scab will eventually heal and fade. It’s also a good idea to try and remember if you ever had a cut or abrasion in that area. If not, then that’s another sign to get it checked out.
Consulting a Healthcare Professional
If you become aware of any skin abnormalities that aren’t healing correctly or simply don’t appear normal, it’s best to have them examined by a medical professional. Our team at the Greater Miami Skin and Laser Center can examine, provide treatment options, and provide preventative care for skin cancer. We are proud to serve our community and provide expertise and compassion to every treatment. If you’re concerned about any skin abnormalities, contact the Greater Miami Skin and Laser Center at 305-532-4478 today.