Basal cell carcinoma 2017-04-02T13:35:10+00:00

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Basal cell carcinoma

What is a basal cell carcinoma?

Basal cell caricnomas, sometimes called “BCC” or “rodent ulcers” are a type of skin cancer. They arise because of excessive sun exposure in fair skinned individuals. The outlook is excellent, especially if they are detected early on and treated appropriately.

BCCs have three different appearances depending on their subtype:

  • Superficial BCCs appear as bright pink plaques which slowly expand outwards
  • Nodular BCCs appear as pearlescent pink spots that gradually grow and eventually ulcerate in the middle
  • Morphoeic BCCs are much harder to tell. They may look like a yellow coloured indented scar like thickening of the skin.

If left untreated, BCCs may grow at the site at which they have arisen but it is seldom the case that they should spread. Fortunately this means that complete cure with correct treatment is more or less the rule.

Inflamed spots that arise from hair follicles (folliculitis) usually resolves after six weeks. BCCs do not every disappear, and keep growing with time. They may eventually form a scab and start spotting for no apparent reason. It is best to have any red lesion that is growing or scabbing, even if this is only from time to time, checked by a Dermatologist.

The main treatment for BCCs is to remove them surgically. It is essential that a margin of normal looking skin is removed from around the BCC so that any roots that may have developed are removed. Aside from surgical excision, a small number of superficial BCCs can be treated by freezing (cryotherapy), scarping (curettage) or creams.

BCC diagnosis and treatment at Belgravia Dermatology

  • Detailed consultation and skin analysis by a Dermatologist including a full head to toe skin check assessing all lesions with Dermoscopy

  • Diagnosis of suspected BCCs either by clinical assessment or by skin biopsy

  • Surgical excision – conventionally or by Mohs surgery

  • Non surgical treatments

What should I do next?

If you are worried about a possible BCC or have had a recent BCC diagnosis and would like to explore treatment options,  then please arrange to see one of our Dermatologists who will be happy to help.

“Basal cell caricnomas are a type of skin cancer.  They arise because of excessive sun exposure in fair skinned individuals. The outlook is excellent, especially if they are detected early on and treated appropriately.”

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