Q. I have red, itchy and scaly spots on my arm. Are these signs of skin cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Philip Shenouda
and medically reviewed by Dr.Nithila A
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 11, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am a 19-year-old female. I woke up this morning with two medium sized red, itchy and scaly spots on my upper arms, I searched, and it seemed to me that this resembles an early stage of skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma). What should I do?



Welcome to

First I would like to reaasure you that squamous cell carcinoma can not appear all of a sudden (over night). Second, from the pics you attached it looks like fungal infection (attachment removed to protect patient identity), something called tinea corporis, which comes with the same look and other looks as well, in addition to the symptoms that you mentioned (specially itchiness). Please follow the treatment that I will provide you and kindly follow up with photos for the skin lesion in five to seven days. Kindly consult your doctor to discuss the suggestion and take the treatment with consent.

Treatment plan:

Lamisil cream (Terbinafine), apply three times a day for 7 to 14 days or Daktacort cream (Miconazole, Hydrocortisone), apply three times a day for 7 to 14 days.
Wash your own clothes and bed linens separately as it is infectious.

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