Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a type of skin cancer that occurs when there is an uncontrolled growth of basal cells in the skin. Basal cells are the cells that make up the lowest layer of the epidermis and the outermost layer of the skin. While BCC is generally knows as not life-threatening and it can be disfiguring and it can also spread to other parts of the body when left untreated. let’s see what happens if you pick at a basal cell carcinoma?
What is basal cell carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It usually appears as a small, flesh-colored or pink bump on the skin and it can also take the form of a flat, scaly patch or a red, inflamed area. The bump or patch may bleed easily and sometimes crust over. BCC typically develops on areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun on your face, neck, and arms and it can occur anywhere on the body.
What happens if you pick at a basal cell carcinoma?
Picking at a basal cell carcinoma can cause the cancerous cells to spread beyond the original site of the tumor. When you pick at the cancerous growth then you can inadvertently break off pieces of the tumor and may cause them to enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system, potentially leading to the development of new tumors in other parts of the body. So, picking at the tumor can also cause it to become infected that can lead to further complications.
Treatment options for basal cell carcinoma
If you have a basal cell carcinoma then it is important to see a dermatologist or a specialist in skin cancer as soon as possible. The dermatologist will be able to diagnose the tumor and recommend you, an appropriate treatment plan. Treatment options for basal cell carcinoma include:
Surgical excision: This involves removing the tumor and some of the surrounding healthy tissue using a scalpel or other surgical instrument. The area is then closed with stitches or staples.
Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy involves freezing the tumor using liquid nitrogen. This treatment is often used for small as superficial tumors.
Electrodessication and curettage: This treatment involves using an electric current to destroy the cancerous cells and then scraping them away with a curette with a spoon-shaped surgical instrument.
Mohs surgery: This specialized type of surgery involves removing the tumor layer by layer which is examining each layer under a microscope until no cancerous cells remain.
Topical medications: Topical medications includes imiquimod that can be applied to the skin to stimulate the immune system to attack the cancerous cells.
Radiotherapy: Radiotherapy involves using high-energy radiation to kill cancerous cells. It is usually used for larger tumors or for people who are generally unable to undergo surgery.
Preventing basal cell carcinoma
There are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing basal cell carcinoma:
Wear sunscreen: Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and apply it to all exposed skin every day, even on cloudy days.
Wear protective clothing: Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat when you are outside, especially during peak sun hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
Seek shade: Stay in the shade whenever possible, especially during peak sun hours.
Avoid tanning beds: Tanning beds can increase your risk of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma.
If you notice any unusual growths or changes in your skin so it is important to see a dermatologist as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment can help prevent the cancer from spreading and reduce the risk of disfigurement.
Again I say it is very important to perform regular self-exams to check for any unusual growths or changes in your skin. If you have a family history of skin cancer then you may be at an increased risk of developing basal cell carcinoma. I recommended you that it is especially important to protect your skin from the sun and to see a dermatologist regularly for check-ups.
In final conclusion, basal cell carcinoma is a common type of skin cancer that can be disfiguring and potentially life-threatening if left untreated. Picking at the tumor can cause the cancerous cells to spread beyond the original site that will leading to the development of new tumors. By taking steps to protect your skin from the sun and performing regular self-exams and finally you can reduce your risk of developing basal cell carcinoma.