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How To Differentiate Between BCC, SSC & Melanoma: Visual Aid

There are many different bumps, moles, and marks that could develop on the skin and it is important to be able to differentiate between a dangerous sign and an innocuous freckle. Look through the following pictures warning signs that indicate certain marks on your body. With any suspicious marks, you should visit your dermatologist for a full-body exam or Mohs micrographic surgery.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma: As the most common type of cancer found in the United States, BCC should be easy to recognize. It slowly metastasizes, which means grows into cancer, but the mere presence of BCC is cause for worry and should be examined. Generally, BCC growths look like pink or pearly white lesions or sores that easily bleed. It could appear dome-shaped, flat, or look scar-like.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This form of skin cancer is the second most common form in the US.  Like Basal Cell Carcinoma, when SCC is spotted and treated early, it is highly curable. The good news is that when SCC is spotted and treated early, it is highly curable. When SCC develops, it looks like a superficial, dark red growth and is hard to touch. As it gets larger, it will become dome-shaped and may ulcerate and bleed.  There may be a white-yellow scale on top of the lesion. When this scale is removed, there is a space filled with dead cells that causes a bad smell.


Melanoma: Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, the fifth most common cancer in men, and the seventh-most common cancer in women. The most important factor for developing melanoma is sun exposure. People who have had more sun exposure, including tanning beds, are at increased risk. Other risk factors include having atypical nevi, otherwise known as a mole, a large number of atypical nevi, and having blond or red hair, many freckles, or light eye color

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About author - Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar is the founder and owner of Cosmetic Laser Skin & Surgery Center. With degrees from Harvard University and NYU, along with multiple publications and media features, the double board-certified dermatologist and laser surgeon proudly shares his expertise with patients in Garden City, Manhattan, and those who fly in to receive treatment at his offices. Dr. Rokhsar has worked extensively with Vbeam laser, Thermitight, Coolsculpting, and Fraxel laser technology, as well as Allergan and other injectable brands. He pioneered the Non-Surgical Nose Job and continues to be a leader in his field.

Learn more about Dr. Rokhsar | Dr. Rokhsar's Google Scholar