What Does Skin Cancer Look Like on the Scalp?

Skin cancers, whether on the scalp or other areas, may appear to be a growth or sore that does not heal for more than a few weeks, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Skin cancers may also look like lumps, spots, moles or freckles that change in color or size. Skin cancers can look like any unexplainable change on the skin.

Basal cell cancers often looks like a patch of dry skin, feel hard to the touch, and are usually flat, explains Cancer Research UK. They usually grow slowly and are red or pink in color. Sometimes, they can become crusty or bleed. It can be mistaken for a pimple that does not disappear after several weeks, or one that returns. Squamous cell cancers are reddish patches or growths that are often characterized by scaly skin. Sometimes they are tender and may bleed. Both types of cancers can become ulcers, causing an erosion of the skin.

Cancer Research UK suggests that the best way to spot any skin cancer is to become familiar with what the skin normally looks like by regularly performing a self exam. It may help to recruit a friend or spouse to examine areas that are not easily visible. Any unexplained changes, especially on areas that are frequently exposed to the sun, should be monitored and pointed out to a doctor.