Vim & Vigor - Summer 2018 - Community Healthcare - 43

Q

You've always been a sun worshipper; you'd
rather be poolside or on the sand than anywhere else. Now you have a scab that won't
heal, and it bleeds when you bump it.
Should you put antibacterial cream on it and
hope it gets better, or could it be a sign of
skin cancer?

QUIZ

Understand
Skin Cancer
Want to raise your skin cancer IQ?
Take this six-question quiz that
separates cancer myths from facts:
cancer.org/cancer/skin-cancer/
skin-cancer-quiz.

GO TO A DERMATOLOGIST. "It's usually a
good sign if it looks like it's getting better on
its own," Arthur says. But if it's been a month,
the scab is bleeding easily or it has a pearly
edge (white, shiny or translucent), it's time to
see a professional. Those are signs of basal cell
carcinoma, a cancer of the outermost layer of
the skin.

Q

Acne: It's a rite of passage, right?
And your poor preteen is passing right
through Pimplesville.
His skin is red, broken-out and bumpy, but is it
bad enough to see a dermatologist?
MAYBE. If your son has cysts or nodules-swollen, deep and painful bumps-or the acne is
causing scarring or changing his skin's texture
after the pimple has healed, a dermatologist
needs to take a look, Arthur says. And even if
it's mild, but your boy's self-esteem is taking a
beating, a dermatologist probably can help.

Q

Your mom has had a tough time lately. First,
she was in the emergency room with severe
leg pain. Now, she's contending with a fiery
rash. Funny thing, though: The painful rash is also
on her leg.
Is it a coincidence, or could this be shingles?
IT MIGHT BE SHINGLES, a painful inflammation caused by the same virus that causes
chickenpox. "One clue for shingles is it is often
preceded by burning or pain, and that can happen before the rash comes. If the rash develops
in an area that has been painful or sore, seek

medical attention right away," Arthur says. "It
is contagious, particularly to people who have
never had chickenpox or have never been immunized for the varicella-zoster virus."
Other markers of shingles: a rash (it can be
anywhere on the body) that includes blisters
shaped like dewdrops on a rose petal, particularly
in a linear pattern.

Q

You're worried that a mole on your 9-yearold daughter's back has changed. It looks
pretty much the way it did when she was
younger, except ... bigger.
Should you get this growing mole checked,
or can it be normal?
IT'S PROBABLY NORMAL. When children
grow, so do their moles. But you'll want to watch
for rapidly growing ones that change color, are
two or more colors or are bleeding. Jagged
borders should also raise a flag, Arthur says.
Perhaps more concerning, at least when it
comes to melanoma, considered the most dangerous form of skin cancer, are new moles. An
estimated two-thirds of melanomas develop on
the skin as a new growth rather than from old
moles, Arthur says. ■

SUMME R 2018

43


http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skin-cancer/skin-cancer-quiz

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Vim & Vigor - Summer 2018 - Community Healthcare - Contents
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