Do you have moles, freckles, or spots on your body that are painful or itchy? Research shows that these spots could be a sign of skin cancer.

More than one-third of the skin cancer lesions itched, according to a study led by Temple University’s Chair of Dermatology. The study found that nearly 36.9 percent of skin cancer lesions are accompanied by itching, while 28.2 percent involve pain. Non-melanoma skin cancers — specifically, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma — are more likely than melanoma to involve itch or pain, the study found.

Woman Touching Her Face

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer. The three most common malignant skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point of their lives. Melanoma is much less common than basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers, but it is far more dangerous, according to the American Cancer Society. The key warning signs are a new growth, a spot or bump that’s getting larger over time, or a sore that doesn’t heal within a few weeks.

Skin Cancer Infographic

If you are experiencing pain or itchiness, you should speak with a dermatologist right away. The first signs of skin cancer appear in one or more atypical moles. It is extremely important to get to know your skin and recognize any changes in the moles on your body. Individuals should check their moles on a monthly basis for any changes. Dr. Christopher Weyer recommends taking a picture of your moles to keep track of any changes overtime. If a particular mole displays one or more of these signs or changes, you should consult a dermatologist for evaluation.

To learn more about the skin cancer screening, or to schedule your consultation with Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Moenster, please fill out the form on this page. You can call our Tucson location at 520-207-3100 or our Sierra Vista location at 520-458-1787. We look forward to seeing you soon!