Photos of skin cancer are available on the websites for Mayo Clinic, MedicineNet, the American Cancer Society and the American Academy of Dermatology. However, different skin cancers have a wide variety of physical characteristics, so the American Cancer Society recommends consulting a doctor about any abnormal sores or growths.
The three most common forms of skin cancer are melanoma, basal-cell carcinoma and squamous-cell carcinoma, according to Mayo Clinic. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation increases the risk of developing skin cancer, so body areas such as the scalp, neck, arms, face, ears and limbs are most vulnerable. Yet, the disease can also affect areas that aren't frequently exposed to light, including the genitals and the undersides of toenails and fingernails.
Common symptoms of melanoma include brown spots with dark-colored speckles and lesions with abnormal patches of blue, red, white or bluish-black coloring, Mayo Clinic explains. Individuals may notice moles that bleed or change in texture, size or color. Melanoma lesions often form in areas hidden from UV exposure, such as genitals, palms and the soles of the feet. Basal-cell carcinoma typically leads to waxy, raised bumps or flat, brown or flesh-colored lesions on exposed areas, such as the face and neck. Squamous-cell carcinoma often triggers flat, crusted lesions or firm, reddened lumps on the hands, face and ears.