Our skin plays the role of a protective barrier that covers the whole of our body and protects its internal organs. However, most people forget that she, in turn, needs to be protected from the various internal and external aggressions, which favor the appearance of several skin problems, ranging from simple irritation to cancer. Learn how to recognize it early, and so be able to treat it in time!
Returning to a dermatological practice, we often find sentences like "You like your moles? Show them to your dermato! "Without knowing their meaning. In reality, what we see as a mole may be the onset of skin cancer.
What is a mole?
A mole, also called nevi, is an agglomeration of pigment cells - melanocytes, on the surface of the skin. To determine whether it is benign or not, dermatologists use the "rule of the alphabet". Those who are atypical or precancerous generally have the following criteria:
Asymmetric: the grain of beauty is not symmetrical, and this becomes obvious if one draws an (imaginary) trait in its environment: the two parts do not have the same shape
Irregular edges: the edges of the mole are not precise
Different colors: the same naevus presents different shades: light brown, dark brown, rosé.
Diameter: more than 6 millimeters
Changes: Any changes in color, shape or size, as well as the appearance of itching or bleeding should lead to a medical consultation, as these changes may be a sign of the onset of cancer development.
What are the main types of skin cancer?
There are 3 main types of skin cancer:
It is the least aggressive type of cancer, but the most common - 75% of skin cancer cases. Developing from the small cells on the deep layer of the skin, called basal cells, it mainly affects those parts most exposed to the sun, such as the face, neckline, back of the hand , Etc. This form of skin cancer can affect several parts of the body at once, but usually remains localized and does not spread. The risk of suffering from basal cell or CBC cancer increases with age, as it often appears in people over 40 years of age.
Also called epithelial carcinoma, this form of skin cancer develops from the cells responsible for the production of keratin, called keratinocytes. Squamous cell carcinoma mainly affects parts of the body that are damaged by prolonged exposure to the sun, scars, burns and ulcers. Unlike the previous form of cancer, it can spread and touch nearby organs and lymph nodes.
Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It originates in the melanocytes, the cells responsible for the production of melanin, the natural pigment that gives the skin, hair and eyes their color. It is characterized by a fairly high growth rate and the ability to spread rapidly to other organs, thereby putting the lives of those who are at risk at risk. Generally developing from moles, it therefore requires a great deal of vigilance in order to detect any change in the appearance of the latter, in accordance with the aforementioned primer rule.
Is there a treatment for skin cancer?
There are several treatments for skin cancers, other than melanoma, ranging from simple medical treatment to more complicated surgical procedures. One example is chemical peels: where an acid is applied to the affected part to remove the affected upper layers, cryosurgery that kills cancer cells by freezing them, laser, which allows the burning of tumors, phyto surgery -Dynamics that uses light to destroy cancer cells, etc.
In some cases, dermatologists resort to Mohs surgery to get rid of the tumor.
To reduce your risk of suffering from skin cancer, be sure to protect yourself from sunlight by applying total screen creams and limiting the duration of exposure. It is also recommended to carry out a regular self-examination and to consult a specialist when in doubt.