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As Californians, we are often outside in the sun. With that comes the various risks of over exposure to UV rays. So, we believe it’s important for our community to be informed about the different types of skin cancer. By learning about the symptoms and prevalence of each type, you’ll be better equipped to protect your skin and know when to reach out to your doctor for help.

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer, affecting millions of people worldwide. These cancers usually develop on sun-exposed areas, like the face, ears, neck, and hands.

Symptoms may include:

  • Pearly or waxy bumps
  • Flat, flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesions
  • Bleeding or scabbing sores that heal and return

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer. It tends to appear on sun-exposed areas, such as the face, ears, and hands.

Symptoms may include:

  • Firm, red nodules
  • Flat lesions with a scaly, crusted surface
  • Sores that don’t heal or heal and return


Melanoma is less common than BCC or SCC, but it can be more serious. It usually develops in a mole or appears suddenly as a new dark spot on the skin.

Symptoms may include:

  • Change in size, shape or color of a mole
  • An irregular shaped mole with varied colors
  • Dark lesions on palms, soles, fingertips, toes, mucous membranes

Prevention Tips: Protect Your Skin, Protect Yourself

While learning about skin cancer can feel overwhelming, there are simple steps you can take to protect your skin:

  • Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day.
  • Seek shade during peak sun hours (10am-4pm).
  • Cover up with protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps.
  • Perform regular skin self-checks and see your dermatologist annually for a professional skin exam.

If you’re worried about a mole or skin lesion, remember – your health is our priority. Reach out to your doctor. Together, we can keep your skin healthy and glowing for years to come.


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If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately, call your doctor, or go to the emergency room/urgent care.