Many people in New York and New Jersey get dry skin and other skin irritations from time to time, especially during the winter. However, some skin problems can be signs of skin cancer. Here are some ways to tell the difference between dry skin and something more serious.
Is it dry skin or skin cancer?
The harsh, dry conditions of winter can be hard on a person’s skin, causing itching, rashes and flaky areas. These problems can occur in one area, such is on the hands or legs, or all over someone’s body. Luckily, most episodes of dry skin respond to moisturizers or over-the-counter cortisone creams, and more serious cases can be addressed by prescription creams and medications.
In comparison, dry skin associated with skin cancer does not respond to at-home care. It might start with a small, flaky area of skin and then progress to a sore that refuses to heal. It could also appear as a bump or mole that is:
- crusty, scaly or bleeding
- raised, pearly, shiny or waxy
- purple, yellow, blue or other unusual colors
- firm to the touch
- Having a family history of skin cancer
- Having fair skin
- Having many or abnormal moles
- Living in a sunny or high-altitude climate
- Exposure to radiation
Most skin cancers are curable if they are caught at an early stage. However, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis and other medical mistakes can allow the cancer to spread and increase the risk of serious complications and death. Skin cancer patients who have been harmed by a doctor’s negligence may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. A personal injury attorney could review the case and seek compensation on a patient’s behalf.