Source: Skin Answer
Some signs of an ingrown hair include the following:
- Small round solid bumps often filled with pus appearing on the chin, cheeks, legs, pubic area, scalp, and armpits
- Skin darkening
- Painful, tender, and itchy
- Embedded hairs
Knowing the Difference between Ingrown Hairs and Skin Cancer
Having an ingrown hair is safe; most of the time, it will disappear on its own. If it doesn’t, it could become an infection, which can be easily treated.
It’s important to know if that boil-like bump is indeed just an ingrown hair or something more serious, like skin cancer. While an ingrown hair may resemble some types of skin cancer at first, there are some tell-tale differences.
Ingrown hairs often appear in clusters of raised red bumps. In addition, they often cause fluid-filled cysts to appear which may feature a white or yellow head, much like an infected pimple. They can also become itchy and sore.
Skin cancer lesions, on the other hand, often appear as single moles or bumps. It is usually pain-free during its early stages, and while it may appear crusty, it usually does not contain puss.
Below are some other signs of the most common forms of skin cancer:
Basal cell carcinoma:
- A pearly or waxy bump
- A flat flesh-coloured or brown scar-like lesion
- A bleeding or scabbing sore that heals and returns
Squamous cell carcinoma:
- A firm, red nodule
- A flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface
- A large brownish spot with darker speckles
- A mole that changes in colour, size, or feel; it may also bleed
- A small lesion with an irregular border and portions that appear red, pink, white, blue, or blue-black
- A painful lesion that itches or burns
- Dark lesions on your palms, soles, fingertips or toes, or on mucous membranes lining your mouth, nose, vagina, or anus
Early Skin Cancer Detection: The Key to Better Treatment
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, but fortunately, we know that it is treatable when detected at its early stages.
In fact, research shows that the five-year survival rate for stage 1A and stage 1B melanoma is 97% and 92% respectively. That means the vast majority of skin cancer victims go on to live following treatment. Of course, as the number of melanoma cases continue to rise throughout Australia, early diagnosis is becoming even more important to help save lives.
Checking your skin regularly by yourself is a good start. If you notice any unusual spot or growth on your skin, see your GP or go to the nearest skin cancer detection clinic, which can help detect and monitor any early signs of irregularity that might develop on your skin.
Molemap by Dermatologists
At Molemap, we know that skin cancer is a pressing issue in the country. That is why we’re committed to help those who are at a high risk of skin cancer. If you are concerned about a certain bump or mole and have been wondering if you are at risk, take the time to answer this quick assessment quiz now.