Ranked among the nation's most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana's leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, health pavilions, workplaces, schools and homes.
Below are a variety of images of "abnormal" moles that may be precancerous or actual skin cancer. Use them as a guide for what to look for on your own skin. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Melanoma, although not as common, is the deadliest form of skin cancer. All of these skin cancers have a high cure rate when treated early.
If you notice any changes in your skin or moles, or symptoms that resemble melanoma, consult your doctor right away. Use the ABCDE's of skin cancer to help determine if you should be concerned about any spots on your skin.
Actinic keratosis starts as rough, dry, scaly patches of skin. AK is considered precancerous and can lead to squamous cell carcinoma if not treated. (Source: www.spotsignsofak.com)
Actinic keratosis commonly occurs on the ears, face or scalp as a result of long-term over-exposure to the sun’s UV rays. (Source: AAD)
Actinic cheilitis (also known as “farmer’s lip”) is related to actinic keratosis. These lip sores can develop into squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer. (Source: WebMD)
“Horn” form of actinic keratosis. These growths contain keratin (found in fingernails). Squamous cell carcinoma is usually present at the base. (Source: WebMD)
Basal cell tumors may appear red or as waxy bumps with visible blood vessels. Basal cell is the most common form of skin cancer. (Source: WebMD)
Basal cell carcinoma may present as shiny nodules or circular growths with raised edges and sunken centers. (Source: AAD)
Basal cell carcinoma that looks like a sore that won’t heal. (Source: AAD)
A basal cell tumor on the scalp. (Source: AAD)
This squamous cell carcinoma lesion may be mistaken for eczema. Skin with SCC may appear pink, crusty, swollen or thick, and peel or bleed. (Source: tuftsmedicalcenter.org)
A common presentation of squamous cell carcinoma on a man’s face. The skin area is flat, reddish and scaly. (Source: AAD)
One warning sign of squamous cell carcinoma is a dome-shaped, crusty growth. (Source: AAD)
Bowen’s disease is considered an early stage of squamous cell carcinoma. It is characterized by red, scaly, crusty patches of skin. (Source: AAD)
Melanoma can be deadly. Compared to normal skin spots, melanoma may have varied colors, jagged edges and an asymmetrical pattern, and change in appearance over time. (Source: WebMD)
Most dysplastic nevi, or atypical moles, are benign. However, people with more than five are at higher risk for melanoma. Dysplastic nevi are often a mix of tan, brown and pink/red and are larger than common moles. (Source: WebMD)
Rarer types of skin cancers include Kaposi’s sarcoma, sebaceous gland carcinoma and Merkel cell carcinoma. (Source: WebMD)
Worried or just curious about a mole or skin spot? Community has experts who can help. Call 800-777-7775 today to make an appointment with a Community dermatologist for a skin cancer screening. Skin cancer has a 99% cure rate if detected early - so why wait?!
See more of our awards