Preventing a Disaster: Can Dry and Flaky Skin Be a Warning Sign of Cancer?
There are many reasons dry skin can begin to occur. Although most people consider this an innocuous symptom, there are times when it can be worrisome. While in most cases, dry skin is simply lacking moisture, when it is coupled with other symptoms, there could be cause for concern.
What Causes Dry Skin?
Dry skin is often a temporary condition and is more common in winter. There are multiple reasons dry skin can become a problem, including the following. While there are many areas of the body that can develop dry skin, the nose is a common location. Getting relief for your nose begins by knowing the cause.
- Dry air
- Soaking in hot water
- Hot or cold weather extremes
Dry skin may flake and feel overly tight. It can also become irritated when the skin is severely dry. It is also common for individuals to experience itching with dry skin.
Is Dry Skin a Sign of Cancer?
In most cases, dry skin will end up resolving on its own, even if you do not use any form of treatment. There are some signs you should see a doctor because your skin condition may be more than simply a lack of moisture.
- The dry skin does not improve, despite increasing hydration.
- The dry skin is accompanied by redness and swelling.
- The dry skin is interfering with a person’s sleep, due to itchiness.
- The dry skin has developed open sores and scabbing due to scratching.
- The dry skin is accompanied by signs of infection, including heat and pus drainage.
In most cases, dry skin alone is not a symptom of skin cancer. It is important individuals pay careful attention to their skin and report any changes to their doctor. Skin cancer is best treated when it is found in its earliest stages.
Signs of Skin Cancer
While flaky skin can be a sign of skin cancer, it is typically coupled with other symptoms, including the following. If you notice any of the following, reporting the symptoms to a doctor is essential.
- Strange skin growths
- Sores that do not go away
- Rough places
- Pearl-like lesions
- Moles that change in appearance or grow larger
- Red raised growths
Protecting the skin from the sun is one of the most important things a person can do to avoid skin cancer. It is important to note that skin cancer is more common in sun-exposed areas, but it can also occur in areas that are not usually exposed to the sun.
There are many types of skin cancer, including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and others. Proper diagnosis involves skin examinations and biopsy testing.
While in most cases dry skin is not a major concern, it can be a sign of skin cancer, especially when accompanied by any of the above symptoms. When skin cancer is suspected, seeking prompt medical care is essential.
Skin cancers are very much treatable and may not require radiation or chemotherapy, depending on the type. Checking your skin once a month for any changes is important for ensuring it remains healthy. Report any suspicious sores or growths to your doctor at once. Taking care of your skin and using the right moisturizer will help to keep dry skin at bay.