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itchy spot

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:31 pm
by talkhealth
How do I know if my itchy spot is just a spot or something more significant like skin cancer?

Re: itchy spot

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:32 pm
by Dr Kapil Bhargava
Thank you for your question.

There are a few points to help differentiate. However if there is a persistently itchy spot it is prudent to have it reviewed by a doctor.

Itchy spots are commonly hair follicles that are inflamed (folliculitis) or moles that have been scratched or traumatised.

Folliculitis often arises in hair baring areas and is red, itchy and tender. It may appear in groups. A pus spot may form and once it settles a dark mark maybe left behind. This process often happens in a few days.

Moles that have been scratched can become swollen, red and tender. They often however return to normal. Often these are moles that are raised. The moles are usually present for a long time, and after a few days will go back to normal. If they do not improve you should have them reviewed.

Changing moles may also represent skin cancer. In addition to the itching, the mole may also change in colour, size and shape and, rather than improving, continues to get worse. Basal cell carcinomas and other ‘non-mole’ type of skin cancers often bleed and do not heal or continue to grow.

If you experience persistent changes it is always helpful to have these checked.