Is It Skin Cancer?

Q&A logoQuestion:  I have  little thin red lines on the left side of my face.  I know that you have said it can be a broken blood vessel called spider veins, but since I’ve spent so much time in the sun, I wonder if it could be skin cancer. 

Answer:  Little red lines are the face are usually  small broken or swollen blood vessels.  They can be causes by high blood pressure, excess alcohol consumption or too much sun.   A blow to the face from a fall or even too aggressive massage can  also trigger their appearance.  But if you are concerned about skin cancer, I would definately have it evaluated by a dermatologist.  In fact, according to New York City dermatologist  and skin cancer expert Dr Ellen Marmur,  we  all should have a complete “skin  check”  every year.  After a summer in the sun,  early fall is an excellent time to schedule this important  visit to catch problems early.   And keep in mind  that melanoma,  the most serious  and potentially fatal form of skin cancer can also be found in areas of the body  not exposed to the sun.  Melanoma which often does look like a little  red bump, can hide between the toes or behind the ear.  Caught early all forms of skin cancer are treatable with surgery. Check out the Skin Cancer Foundation for  up-to date and accurate information.

Preventing and Treating Spider Veins

If  your  little red line turns out to be simply a broken blood vessel it can be erased with  with IPL or vaporized with an electricl needle.  To prevent  more  from appearing on the  skin,  limit  alcohol to no more than two drinks a week,  manage high blood pressure and stay out of the sun.  Sunblocks can protect against UV rays, but not the thermal damage from the heat of the sun.  Use a light touch on your skin avoiding extremes in hot  or cold water, saunas, massage and harsh scrubbing grains.  Skin care products with  mint, camphor or menthol  can also cause blood vessels to expand and provoke more red lines.

One thought on “Is It Skin Cancer?

  1. I am definitely in favour of regular checks. Having had skin cancer which started as a small spot on the tip of my nose I would advise everybody to be vigilant and to be persistent in demanding a consultation with a dermatologist as mine was not diagnosed correctly by my GP for several months.

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