You probably ended up here because you’re trying to figure out what that spot is on your skin that’s been bothering you. Before you go deeper into the black hole of your Google search…
What is Basal Cell?
Basal cells are microscopic cells found in the outer layer of your skin (epidermis). They are responsible for making new cells as old ones die off. When this happens, the new cells push off the dead cells from the apical surface.
Let’s break down the facts about the most common skin cancer - Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC).
1. Caused by sun exposure
Spotted on areas that are more often exposed to the sun, BCCs are known to be caused by the harsh UV rays of the sun. One of the most common ways to prevent this is by using sun protection.
For most, sunscreen is good enough. However, if you like doing outdoor sports and activities, sweat and water can make most sunscreens dissolve and may require reapplication. Going for another layer of protection by using hats with wide brims with UPF 50+ like ourGearTOP Sun Protective Hats is a way to address this issue.
Don’t forget your sun protection during those cold winter days, too! Get yourself someGearTOP Balaclavas and Gloves.
2. Most common type of cancer
Apart from this being the most common type of skin cancer, BCC is also the most common type among ALL types of cancers with over 4 million cases every year in the US.
Here are some of the signs you may need to look out for:
- Skin-colored pearly bump that can easily be mistaken as a pimple
- Lesion with dark spots with a slightly-raised edge
- Flat scaly edge with a raised border
- Waxy hard skin growth
These signs are mostly seen on your:
3. People with fair skin are more prone to getting BCC
Having less melanin pigment on your skin makes you more prone to skin cancer because the pigment acts as protection against UV rays. Apart from having lighter skin, people who are naturally blond or have red hair, light-colored eyes, or freckles are more at risk of getting skin cancer than those with opposite features.
4. Most BCCs grow slowly
Good news! Most BCC tumors take a while to develop. If they go unchecked, however, they may become invasive and grow wide and deep into the skin. Although, not all tumors behave the same so once you feel like it’s more than just your typical zit or lesion, get it checked by a physician.
5. You can have it frozen to remove it
When you think of cancer, you automatically think that it can go one of two ways. Either you go the invasive way of taking out the tumor through surgery. Or, you can go the intravenous way of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor or kill cancer cells.
For less severe cases of BCC, you may go for the less invasive way called cryotherapy. This is normally done to destroy abnormal tissues by using extreme cold from liquid nitrogen or argon gas. If you prefer treating your BCC with very little pain and would like to recover quickly, ask your physician if this is a good option for your condition.
Keep yourself constantly in check and safe by making sure you have precautionary measures before heading out to your next adventure. If you have symptoms, it is best to go to your physician and have it checked out.
Know more about enjoying outdoor activities and how you can have worry-free adventures in ourblog.