The rash can appear for a variety of reasons. This is a common term used by people to describe skin changes as a result of infections and allergic reactions. In very rare cases, a rash can be a sign of cancer.
Knowing the difference helps a person get the help they need and avoid worrying about a benign rash.
Skin changes can be caused by cancerous or precancerous causes. In these cases, skin symptoms are a sign of an underlying disorder that requires diagnosis and treatment.
This article describes how to recognize a potentially cancerous rash. We will also look at the various types of skin cancer rashes that can cause a rash.
When does a skin cancer rash appear?
Some benign skin rashes are easily mistaken for signs of cancer.
For example, people with psoriasis may have persistent, scaly, red, or pink spots on their skin that may be itchy.
The skin can also crack and cause further discomfort. Some people may notice that this cracked skin sometimes bleeds, especially after itching.
A dermatologist or dermatologist can usually identify a skin cancer rash that is different from what is typical of psoriasis. However, some people are worried about skin cancer when they see a rash.
This may be because some types of skin cancer often have certain similar characteristics, such as pink or red discoloration or small bleeding areas.
It is important to remember that skin cancer usually appears as a single lesion rather than as multiple lesions.
Psoriasis, on the other hand, usually presents with multiple lesions. Also, skin cancer may not respond to typical psoriasis treatments.
Dermatologists identify skin cancer as acne or skin that does not heal and grows over time. They can recognize melanoma as a new or altered mole.
Mole showing melanoma looks different from other moles on the body. For example, you can:
- Has jagged edges
- Lack of symmetry
- Display in various colors
- Diameter exceeds 6 mm
- Changes over time
Skin cancer rashes usually do not go away on their own, unlike other skin conditions. As the cancer grows, the size and shape of the lesion or rash often changes. It can grow into deeper layers of skin and change shape.
Skin cancer can occur in the visible part of the skin and is easier to detect earlier than other types of cancer. It also increases the chances of successful treatment.
However, skin cancer can also occur in hard-to-reach areas such as the back, scalp, and soles of the feet.
If you are not sure about your skin condition, consult your doctor or dermatologist immediately.
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Not all types of skin cancer are accompanied by a rash. For example, melanoma, which arises from melanocyte cells that transfer pigment to the skin, often resembles a deformed mole.
Early control of the lesion is essential for rapid treatment and a good prognosis, as melanoma is one of the most life-threatening forms of skin cancer.
There are various cancerous and precancerous lesions. Precancerous lesions can develop into cancerous lesions over time, and early diagnosis and treatment are essential in all cases.
The following are types of skin cancer that typically cause rashes, lesions, or other skin symptoms.
Actinic keratosis or actinic keratosis occurs after excessive exposure to sunlight on certain areas of the body. People with actinic keratosis may have small, red, scaly patches on their skin. The spots usually do not cause symptoms.
Actinic keratosis most often occurs on exposed areas of the body, such as the hands, head, and neck.
These spots are precancerous lesions. Over time, there is a small risk of developing a cancer called squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). It can be difficult for a doctor to tell if an area of actinic keratosis changes over time and becomes cancerous.
In most cases, actinic keratosis does not progress to cancer, but doctors recommend early treatment and participation in regular medical checkups to prevent cancer from developing.
Learn more about actinic keratosis here.
Basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a type of cancer that starts as a pearly papule of the penis or ridge and usually starts in a different area of the nose or face.
After that, the papules may increase and become brighter. You may begin to bleed in the center where an indentation may form.
On other parts of the body, BCC may appear as small, pink, scaly patches or shiny, pigmented ridges. It may even look like a bumpy scar.
As the cancer progresses, the area becomes hostile and may begin to bleed or ooze.
Actinic chelates, also known as farmer’s lip, is a precancerous rash that usually occurs on the lips. In this condition, scaly patches and rough lips appear.
This type of rash usually develops after years of exposure to ultraviolet light. Most of the time, this is due to too much time being spent doing reliable outdoor work, such as farming, at sea, or in the highlands.
Without treatment, actinic chelates can progress to squamous cell carcinoma.
SCCs more commonly present as highly scaly, crusty, pink papules that tend to bleed and enlarge over time.
However, rough, scaly red patches may appear on the skin. This is often very similar to benign or precancerous skin lesions.
Unlike a rash that goes away with time, a rash caused by squamous cell carcinoma grows slowly and looks like ridges that don’t seem to heal.
SCC usually occurs on regularly exposed areas of the skin, such as the arms, neck, and head. It may also affect other parts of the body.
The skin horn is a collection of keratin cells. Keratin is the protein that makes up the nail. These cells can stick together and fold, forming growths that extend beyond the skin.
The base of the skin horn may be red, and in some cases, squamous cell carcinoma may be hiding.
Growth is more common in fair-skinned older people with prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Rash associated with other types of cancer
A rash is also a sign of cancer that begins on the outside of the skin, including various forms of lymphoma.
Lymphoma is dangerous because cancer cells circulate throughout the body. These cells can grow in many organs and tissues at the same time.
The next section lists other types of cancer that can cause skin symptoms.
Fungal fun gal disease
When lymphoma begins on the skin, it is called mycosis fun go ides.
If there are no signs of lymphoma in other parts of the body when this type of cancer is diagnosed, the doctor will diagnose primary cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
Mycosis fun go ides is the most common type of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
In mycosis fun go ides, cells of the skin’s immune system become cancerous, causing skin changes that can mimic psoriasis and eczema.
This rash can spread and worsen over time. It can develop into a skin tumor or spread to remote parts of the body.
Find out more about lymphoma.
Sassari syndrome occurs when a person’s skin turns bright red throughout the body due to T-cell lymphoma.
Doctors often recommend aggressive treatment that seeks to control their growth. Sassari syndrome usually has a poor prognosis.
Leukemia is a type of blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow. This causes the body to make too many white blood cells.
Leukemia causes small red spots on the skin called petechial, which indicate a low platelet count.
Rupture of blood vessels under the skin is a typical cause of red spots. However, it can also occur due to a less serious condition.
Children can also develop a rash due to leukemia cutis. The rash can show a variety of symptoms. This can result in a series of red, brown, or purple bumps on the skin.
It is important to note that exposure to excessive sunlight does not directly cause these skin lesions.
Kaposi’s sarcoma is a cancer that begins in the cells that line the lymph and blood vessels.
Kaposi’s sarcoma causes dark red, purple, or brown spots on the skin that can spread throughout the body like a rash.
These injuries are more common in the legs and usually do not cause additional symptoms.
Learn more about Kaposi’s sarcoma.
If any rash persists, you should see a doctor even if you think you can identify it.
Many types of cancer cause a rash that can resemble the rash found in less serious skin conditions. Participating in regular examinations by a dermatologist is essential to discuss skin changes and prevent complications from a misdiagnosed rash.
Sunscreen is essential to prevent certain sun-related skin cancers. Effective measures include the following uses:
- Sun hat
- Long clothing that covers the skin of the arms and legs
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the use of sunscreens with an SPF of 30 or higher.
By following these steps, you can strengthen your defense against certain types of skin cancer.