A common myth about skin cancer is that people of color can’t be diagnosed with it. This is untrue, as skin cancer doesn’t discriminate. People of every skin tone can get this type of cancer, even if they’ve never gotten a sunburn.
What Are the Signs Of Skin Cancer On Darker Skin Colors?
If you have darker skin, you may think it’s hard or maybe even impossible to detect skin cancer on your body. However, there are many common signs to look out for when it comes to skin cancer.
These factors include:
- Abnormal growths. Give yourself a complete body exam with a mirror once a month to look for dark spots, changes, sores that aren’t going away, dry patches of skin, and dark lines under your finger or toenail. To easily remember what to check for, follow the ABCDEs, which stands for asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and evolving. The spots that you will usually see these changes are the areas that are exposed to the sun the most, such as the face, lips, feet, arms, hands, and chest. However, they can happen anywhere on your body.
- Unusual texture. A patch of skin that feels rough or dry could actually be actinic keratosis.
- A sore that isn’t getting better or going away. It can also be problematic if a sore heals and then returns.
You should also be on the lookout for dark lines underneath or around your fingernails and toenails.
Prevent Skin Cancer By Knowing How to Protect Yourself
To reduce your risk of getting skin cancer, you should wear long clothing and a hat when you’re in the sun, stay away from tanning salons, wear sunscreen with the correct SPF, and limit your time in the sun between 10 am and 4 pm.
Schedule Your Skin Cancer Screening Today!
Because people of color might not always be able to spot new or changing growths on their body, you should make sure to be getting annual skin cancer screenings. Call Westchester Dermatology in Los Angeles, CA, at 310-645-6001 to schedule your skin cancer screening. Our office is led by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Sherri Peace who specializes in skin cancer and dermatologic surgery and is dedicated to helping people detect skin cancer early to reduce spreading.