The sign on your lips that could signal skin cancer

Skin cancer: Dr Chris outlines the signs of a melanoma

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One of the most common causes of skin cancer is ultraviolet light damaging the skin cells. In the majority of cases this ultraviolet light will come from the sun. Therefore, the risk is present for any part of the body exposed to sunlight.

Picking up on the symptoms of skin cancer as quickly as possible could be life-saving.

With this in mind oncology nurse and co-founder of Dermavitality, Mark Brown, spoke with about some of the warning signs to look for.

He said: “Studies have revealed that in the past decade, the number of invasive melanoma cases increased every year have risen by 27 percent.

“These symptoms could indicate skin cancer, other cancers or other illnesses.

“More importantly, you should always contact your doctor if you experience any sudden symptoms or changes in your body, as an early diagnosis can drastically change any prognosis.”

One symptom he warned of was chapped or bloody lips.

“Dry lips are common in the winter or drier months, and can even be caused by sun exposure, and are usually solved by drinking more water or using chapstick,” he said.

“However, if your lips continue to be excessively dry and chapped, or even start to bleed, this could suggest actinic cheilitis, a pre-cancerous condition.

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“This can turn into squamous cell carcinoma if untreated, so any prolonged dry lips should be brought to the attention of a doctor or dermatologist.”

He shared three other symptoms that will appear on the skin to look for.

Persistently dry skin

Mr Brown said: “If you discover a patch of skin that is persistently rough and dry, it is worth bringing it to the attention of your doctor – especially if it is itchy.

“Basal cell carcinomas appear as patches or a patch of itchy or irritated skin, meaning diagnosis is important.

“In most instances, it will usually be something less serious, such as eczema, but visiting a doctor will still bring both your mind and skin relief.”

Sudden lumps

“Unfortunately, skin cancer can appear in many different ways, whether on, under or above the skin,” he said.

“One of these ways is lumps – and these can often be as small as a pimple or stye, leading individuals to believe they are not serious.

“Usually, this is the case, but if you notice any increase in size, shape or colour, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.”

Skin tags

He added: “Skin tags are normal and not cancerous, made up of collagen and blood vessels.

“Unfortunately, some basal skin cancers can resemble skin tags.

“As a result, if you discover a skin tag anywhere, it is best to go to the doctor or dermatologist and have them double-check it for you.

“They will be able to examine the growth and tell you if it is anything to worry about.”

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