Advertisement

How can basal cell carcinoma be identified?

Jenny C. Hu, MD
Dermatology
Basal cell carcinoma usually presents in the head and neck area -- the areas that are exposed to the sun. It grows very slowly and is likely to bleed and be sore. However, this may not occur; it may just be there. Basal cell carcinoma usually has a center that doesn’t heal; it becomes an ulcer. It appears flesh-colored and a little bit pearly or shiny. Sometimes you can see some little blood vessels on top.
Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology

The classic basal cell carcinoma appears as a pearly pink bump, like a pimple that doesn't go away. It's slightly elevated and smooth. But sometimes BCC can show up as a smooth, flat white-pink scar (these are more aggressive) or a brown patch that resembles a freckle. BCC can be a dry, crusty spot, or it can be ulcerated and tend to bleed. Most are located on the face and neck - sun-exposed areas.

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

More About this Book

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...

Continue Learning about Skin Cancers

What You Need to Know About Skin Cancer
What You Need to Know About Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States and the most treatable, if caught early. There are several types of skin cancer. We...
Read More
Does skin cancer affect men differently than women?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Skin cancer affects men and women in pretty much the same ways. Different types of skin cancer may b...
More Answers
9 Sunscreen Mistakes You Don't Have to Make
9 Sunscreen Mistakes You Don't Have to Make9 Sunscreen Mistakes You Don't Have to Make9 Sunscreen Mistakes You Don't Have to Make9 Sunscreen Mistakes You Don't Have to Make
Prevent Skin Cancer With Lemon Zest
Prevent Skin Cancer With Lemon Zest

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.