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HomeAnswersDermatologyred spots on skinI have red spots on my skin as I did not apply sunscreen. Help.

Are red spots on the skin indicative of skin cancer?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

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Published At May 25, 2024
Reviewed AtMay 25, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I am a 32-year-old female who missed applying sunscreen during a beach vacation. I have noticed red spots and scars on my skin due to the heat. I am worried about the possibility of skin cancer. Could you provide information on the signs and symptoms of skin cancer, especially related to sun exposure? Additionally, how can I assess whether the red spots and scars are indicative of skin cancer, and what preventive measures should I take moving forward, especially in winter?

Kindly help.


Welcome to icliniq.com

I understand your concern about the potential risk of skin cancer due to sun exposure. While sunburns and excessive sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer, not all red spots and scars are indicative of skin cancer. It is crucial to be aware of the signs and symptoms of skin cancer, as early detection can significantly improve treatment outcomes. Signs and symptoms of skin cancer related to sun exposure include:

  1. Changes in existing moles or the appearance of new moles: Look for asymmetrical, irregularly shaped, or poorly defined borders and moles with varying colors or diameters larger than a pencil eraser.

  2. New skin growths or lesions: These may appear as red, pink, or skin-toned bumps, nodules, or patches that persist and do not heal.

  3. Persistent redness or patches: Inflamed, scaly, or rough patches of skin that do not heal or improve over time can be a sign of skin cancer.

  4. Sores that bleed, ooze, or crust: Non-healing wounds or sores that persist for weeks or months should be evaluated by a professional.

  5. Changes in existing skin lesions: If you notice any changes in the size, shape, color, or texture of a skin lesion, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider.

    To assess whether your red spots and scars are indicative of skin cancer, it is crucial to consult a dermatologist or your primary care physician. They can examine your skin, discuss your concerns, and determine if a biopsy or further evaluation is necessary. In terms of preventive measures, especially during winter, you should:

    1. Apply sunscreen: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30, even in winter, as UV (ultraviolet) radiation can still reach your skin on cloudy days.

    2. Protect your face and lips: Wear a wide-brimmed hat, face mask, and lip balm with SPF to protect these sensitive areas from sun exposure.

    3. Cover up: Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and protective clothing to minimize sun exposure on your skin.

    4. Avoid the sun during peak hours: Limit your time in the sun between 10 am and 4 pm, when UV radiation is strongest.

    5. Perform regular skin self-examinations: Familiarize yourself with your skin and monitor any changes or new growths that may occur.

    6. Schedule regular skin checks: Visit a dermatologist for routine skin examinations to detect any potential skin cancer early.

      By following these preventive measures, you can reduce your risk of skin cancer and maintain healthy skin throughout the year.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Vandana Andrews
Dr. Vandana Andrews

General Practitioner

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