How to identify skin cancer scares

(NBC) - The American Academy of Dermatology estimates at least 1 million people in the U.S. develop skin cancer every year, but would you even know what to look for when it comes to your skin?

There are several types of skin changes that are red flags.  The first is called Actinic Keratosis, which consists of small, scaly patches. More advanced is Squamous Cell Carcinoma, followed by the most common skin caner, Basal cell Carcinoma.

The most serious of all is Melanoma.

If caught early enough, Dr. Maureen Olivier said freezing with liquid nitrogen can halt the production of cancerous cells.

"Area then begins to slough off and it's replaced by new pink skin and new cells that are not atypical," Olivier said.

The American Academy of Dermatologists recommends an SPF of at least 30 with protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Also examine your skin after a shower while it's still wet.

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