Pretty? Definitely not.
But the following images are what cancer looks like, and these pictures could help save your life — and could have helped this guy save his nose.
“The earlier you can catch skin cancer, the easier it is to cure,” says Casey Gallagher, M.D., a dermatologist in Boulder, Colorado.
Before your next shower, check your entire body out — and compare your moles to these images. Please see a doctor if you find anything suspicious.
Normal Mole: not cancerous
Most people have some “normal moles” on their bodies. If a mole is symmetrical, all one color, smaller than a pencil eraser, and hasn’t changed in years, it’s probably healthy.
Atypical mole: potentially cancerous
The irregular border and haphazard coloring are red flags. This mole needs to be watched closely.
Actinic keratosis: potentially cancerous
These spots feel rough and scaly, and usually occur on areas that receive a lot of sun exposure, such as the scalp, ears, shoulders, and backs of hands.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC): cancerous
This is the second most dangerous type of skin cancer, and it grows fast. Keep your eyes open for a scaly patch or wart-like growth that may bleed.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC): cancerous
This is the most common of all skin cancers, and tens to appear as a shiny bump, a sore that won’t heal, or a raised pink or red spot. See a doctor immediately!
The signs of this most dangerous type of skin cancer: uneven shape with irregular borders, often dark brown, but can be black or multi-colored. Get thee to a doctor, asap!