What is a skin infection?
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Its function is to protect your body from infection. Sometimes the skin itself becomes infected. Skin infections are caused by a wide variety of germs, and symptoms can vary from mild to serious. Mild infections may be treatable with over-the-counter medications and home remedies, whereas other infections may require medical attention. Read on to learn more about skin infections and what to do if you have one.
What are the types of skin infections?
The following are four different types of skin infections:
1. Bacterial skin infections
Bacterial skin infections often begin as small, red bumps that slowly increase in size. Some bacterial infections are mild and easily treated with topical antibiotics, but other infections require an oral antibiotic. Different types of bacterial skin infections include:
2. Viral skin infections
Viral skin infections are caused by a virus. These infections range from mild to severe. Different types of viral infections include:
shingles (herpes zoster)
hand, foot, and mouth disease
3. Fungal skin infections
These types of skin infections are caused by a fungus and are most likely to develop in damp areas of the body, such as the feet or armpit. Some fungal infections aren’t contagious, and these infections are typically non-life-threatening.
Different types of fungal infections:
4. Parasitic skin infection
These types of skin infections are caused by a parasite. These infections can spread beyond the skin to the bloodstream and organs. A parasitic infection isn’t life-threatening but can be uncomfortable.
Different types of parasitic skin infections include:
cutaneous larva migrans
Pictures of types of skin infections
What are the symptoms of skin infection?
The symptoms of a skin infection also vary depending on the type. Common symptoms include redness of the skin and a rash. You may also experience other symptoms, such as itching, pain, and tenderness.
See a doctor if you have pus-filled blisters or a skin infection that doesn’t improve or gets progressively worse. Skin infections can spread beyond the skin and into the bloodstream. When this happens it can become life-threatening.
Signs of a severe infection include:
skin sloughing, breakdown
dark, necrotic-appearing skin, or skin that becomes discolored and painful
What are causes and risk factors for a skin infection?
The cause of a skin infection depends on the type of infection.
Bacterial skin infection: This occurs when bacteria enter the body through a break in the skin, such as a cut or a scratch. Getting a cut or scratch doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll develop a skin infection, but it does increase your risk if you have a weakened immune system.
A decreased immune system can be the result of an illness or the side effect of medication.
Viral skin infection: The most common viruses come from one of three groups of viruses: poxvirus, human papillomavirus, and herpes virus.
Fungal infection: Body chemistry and lifestyle can increase the risk of a fungal infection. For example, you may experience multiple bouts of athlete’s foot if you’re a runner or if you sweat a lot. Fungi often grow in warm, moist environments. Wearing sweaty or wet clothes is a risk factor for skin infections. A break or cut in the skin may allow bacteria to get into the deeper layers of the skin.
Parasitic skin infection: Tiny insects or organisms burrowing underneath your skin and laying eggs can cause a parasitic skin infection.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in the United States and can be broken down into squamous cell cancers, basal cell cancers, and melanomas, as well as some less common cancers. Symptoms may include a sore that doesn't heal, a new spot on the skin, or a mole that is changing. When doctors suspect skin cancer during an exam, a biopsy is needed to make the diagnosis. Treatment options depend on the type and stage, with surgery to remove cancer being the most common approach. With melanomas and advanced squamous cell carcinomas, other treatments such as immunotherapy, chemotherapy, or radiation may be needed. Luckily, there are many simple things you can do to lower your risk.
At the current time, skin cancer is considered an epidemic in the United States, accounting for 50 percent of all cancers. Roughly 80 percent of skin cancer-related deaths are due to melanoma.
Many people do not think of the skin as an organ, but like other organs, it has a discrete structure and many important functions. Since treatment options for skin cancer often depend on the depth of cancer, it's helpful to understand the three basic layers of the skin.
The epidermis is the top layer of skin and serves several functions, including protecting the interior of your body from the environment. Cells in this layer include the following, which give rise to the most common skin cancers—squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma:
Squamous cells lie just below the outer surface of the skin.
Basal cells lie beneath the squamous layer and produce new skin cells.
Melanocytes are located in the basal cell layer of the skin and produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color.
The dermis is the middle layer of skin made up of collagen and elastin. It contains hair follicles, oil-producing glands (sebaceous glands), nerves, and blood vessels.
The subcutaneous tissue contains fat, connective tissue, and larger blood vessels; the amount of this tissue varies depending on a person's weight.
There are three common types of skin cancer and more than 100 less common types. Together, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma are referred to as non-melanoma skin cancers.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer, accounting for 75 percent to 80 percent of these cancers. The lifetime risk of developing a basal cell carcinoma is around 30 percent. It was once found mostly in middle-aged or older people, but is increasingly being found in younger people. It is the most common skin cancer among Hispanics.
Basal cell carcinoma usually begins on areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, and hands. It is slow-growing cancer that rarely spreads to other parts of the body, but people with a history of BCC are at higher risk for getting a second case.
Cancer originates in the basal cell layer of the epidermis (the stratum basale). The basal cells there mutate and begin to replicate uncontrollably. As the cancerous cells grow, they can spread into the dermis, nearby lymph nodes, and may eventually invade bones. If not treated, they can damage the surrounding tissue, causing disfigurement.
Treatments are very effective when these cancers are found and treated promptly.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) accounts for 16 percent to 20 percent of skin cancers and occurs twice as often in men as in women. These are the most common type of skin cancers found in blacks.
Unlike basal cell carcinomas, these cancers may spread (metastasize) if they become large. It usually occurs on the face, ear, neck, lips, and backs of the hands. SCC can also begin within scars or skin ulcers on other places on the body. As with basal cell carcinoma, the available treatments are very effective if the tumor is detected while it is small and thin.
Squamous cell carcinomas have the strongest association with sun exposure.
Melanoma is the most feared type of skin cancer. Though less common than basal cell and squamous cell cancer, it is responsible for the majority of deaths from the disease as a whole. Melanoma may arise in normal skin but often begins in an existing mole. It is found most frequently on the back in men, on the legs in women, and on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and under the fingernails or toenails of people of both sexes with darker skin colors. That said, these cancers may occur anywhere, including areas of the skin that have never been exposed to the sun.
The incidence of melanoma has been rising dramatically in the United States for the last three decades. While melanoma in general is 20 times more common in whites, the incidence of cases that occur under the nails is similar for people of all skin color. In addition, the survival rate in those diagnosed is lower in blacks.
The prognosis of melanoma is good when found early, but drops precipitously when it spreads to distant lymph nodes or organs, such as the bones, the lungs, the liver, and the brain. Newer treatments, however, are making a difference in survival, and even some advanced melanomas can now be controlled with these options.
The other types of cancer that can arise in the skin or skin-related structures are far less common. A few of these include:
Merkel cell carcinoma: Merkel cell carcinomas are rare skin cancers most often found around the eye in middle-aged people. For unknown reasons, these cancers are increasing. They tend to be aggressive and spread rapidly to other parts of the body.
Kaposi's sarcoma: This cancer is caused by the Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus, and is usually found in people with HIV/AIDS or who are immunosuppressed for other reasons, such as an organ transplant. It presents as large red, blue, or brown splotches around the body along with swelling that can be severe. Fortunately, it often responds well to HIV medications.
Sebaceous gland carcinoma: These cancers originate in sebaceous glands and occur most often in older women, around the eye.
Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberance: These cancers begin as a hard nodule that originates in the dermis and spreads rapidly. They are related to a gene mutation that results in overproduction of a protein known as a platelet-derived growth factor.
Skin Metastases and Other Cancers That Occur in the Skin
Sometimes, cancers that arise in other areas of the body may spread (metastasize) to the skin. Cancers most commonly associated with skin metastases include breast cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer. When other cancers spread to the skin they are not classified as skin cancer. In fact, though cancer may now be affecting the skin, its cells are clearly identifiable as belonging to instigating cancer when examined under a microscope. Treatment for cancer at play, rather than skin cancer, is needed.
Some examples of this include inflammatory breast cancer, which often begins with redness and a rash on the breast); Paget's disease, a form of breast cancer that begins on the skin of the nipples; and cutaneous T cell lymphomas (including mycosis fungoides and Sezary syndrome), which often begin as flat, red patches of skin that are extremely itchy.
Signs and symptoms of skin cancer may include any change that is noted on the skin, such as:
A sore that doesn't heal
A mole that is changing
Scaly, crusty appearing lesions
Pink, white, or flesh-colored lumps that appear dome-like
Some refer to the ABCDE (and F) mnemonic to help them recognize when a skin change could be skin cancer:
A stands for asymmetry: A mole or sore that is asymmetric.
B stands for borders. The borders of a melanoma may be irregular, notched, or blurry.
C stands for color. Melanomas often have more than one color or hue.
D stands for diameter. A mole that is larger than a pencil eraser is more likely to be a melanoma.
E stands for either elevation or evolution. The mole may be elevated (often irregularly) and is often evolving (changing) over time.
F: Though an unofficial qualifier, many add this to represent a skin change that is "funny" looking.
What Are the Most Common Skin Cancer Symptoms?
Causes and Risk Factors
We don't know exactly what causes skin cancer, though we have identified several risk factors. Some of these include:
Sun exposure (especially extensive and/or unprotected)
Red or blonde hair
Light eyes (green or blue eyes)
Skin that rarely tans and burns easily
Family and/or personal history of skin cancer
Having one of several genetic syndromes, such as xeroderma pigmentosum
Having many moles (more than 50) or having atypical moles (nevi)
Scars from burns or previous skin infections
A weakened immune system
Use of some medical treatments and medications, such as radiation therapy for cancer and ultraviolet light for psoriasis
Frequent exposure to chemicals such as tar and vinyl chloride
Exposure to arsenic in drinking water
Smoking (increases the risk of squamous cell carcinoma)
Causes and Risk Factors of Skin Cancer
Diagnosing skin cancer begins with a careful history (paying attention to symptoms and risk factors) and a physical exam. Based on the appearance of the skin lesion, a doctor may recommend a biopsy, as it can sometimes be difficult to know whether an abnormality is cancer or not based on its visible appearance. This can be even more challenging in non-white populations.
A biopsy can be done in one of several ways, including:
Shave biopsy: The most common if a basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma is suspected), this procedure involves numbing the skin and shaving off a piece of the lesion. A punch biopsy may also be done.
Incisional biopsy: An incision is made and part of an abnormality is removed to be viewed by a pathologist.
Excisional biopsy: In this case, the entire abnormality is removed, along with an area of surrounding tissue, for a pathologist's evaluation. This is done if a melanoma is suspected.
If a skin cancer (melanoma and sometimes squamous cell carcinoma) is advanced, further tests are done to stage the disease and search for the presence of metastases. These may include a sentinel node biopsy, CT scans, a PET scan, or other tests depending on the location of the skin cancer.
How Skin Cancer Is Diagnosed
The treatments for skin cancer will depend on many factors, such as the type of cancer, the size and depth, and more.
Surgically removing the tumor is the most common treatment. A special surgery called Mohs surgery involves removing successive pieces of tissue and checking the margins for any evidence of cancer so that the least amount of surgery to completely remove the tumor is done. With melanomas, a large area of surrounding tissue is removed.
For more advanced tumors that have spread to lymph nodes or other regions of the body, treatments such as immunotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and radiation therapy may be needed.
What Are Your Skin Cancer Treatment Options?
Prevention and Early Detection
There are many things you can do to prevent skin cancer or at least reduce your risk. Being careful in the sun is important, but includes more than just wearing sunscreen; using other methods of protection (such as wearing clothing and hats, and avoiding mid-day sun) should be practiced as well. Some occupational exposures may increase risk, and gloves are recommended when working with many different chemicals and substances.
Not all skin cancers can be prevented, and early detection then becomes the goal. Self-skin checks should be considered, especially for those who have any risk factors for the disease. Some people who have significant risk factors or genetic syndromes associated with a higher risk may want to consider regular visits with their dermatologist.
Seborrheic keratosis (seb-o-REE-ik ker-uh-TOE-sis) is one of the most common noncancerous skin growths in older adults.
A seborrheic keratosis usually appears as a brown, black or light tan growth on the face, chest, shoulders or back. The growth has a waxy, scaly, slightly elevated appearance. Seborrheic keratoses don't become cancerous and aren't thought to be related to sun exposure, but they can look like skin cancer.
Seborrheic keratoses are normally painless and require no treatment. You may decide to have them removed if they become irritated by clothing or for cosmetic reasons.
A seborrheic keratosis usually looks like a waxy or wart-like growth. It typically appears on the face, chest, shoulders or back of the body. You may develop a single growth or cluster of them. A seborrheic keratosis:
Varies in color, usually from light tan to brown or black
Is round or oval-shaped
Has a characteristic "pasted on" look
Is flat or slightly elevated with a scaly surface
Ranges in size from very small to more than 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) across
Seborrheic keratoses aren't usually painful, but they can be bothersome depending on their size and location. Be careful not to rub, scratch or pick at them. This can lead to bleeding, swelling and, in rare cases, infection.
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if:
Many growths develop over a short time.
The growths get irritated or bleed when your clothing rubs against them. You may want the growths removed.
You notice suspicious changes in your skin, such as sores or growths that grow rapidly, bleed and don't heal. These could be signs of skin cancer.
The exact cause of seborrheic keratoses isn't known. They are very common and generally increase in number with age. The lesions aren't contagious. They tend to run in some families, so inheritance may play a role.
You can develop seborrheic keratoses at any age, but you're generally more likely to develop them if you're over age 50. You're also more likely to have them if you have a family history of the condition.
A skin abscess is a tender mass generally surrounded by a colored area from pink to deep red. Abscesses are often easy to feel by touching. The vast majority of them are caused by infections. Inside, they are full of pus, bacteria and debris. Painful and warm to touch, abscesses can show up any place on your body. The most common sites on the skin in your armpits (axillae), areas around your anus and vagina (Bartholin gland abscess), the base of your spine (pilonidal abscess), around a tooth (dental abscess), and in your groin. Inflammation around a hair follicle can also lead to the formation of an abscess, which is called a boil (furuncle). Unlike other infections, antibiotics alone will not usually cure an abscess. In general an abscess must open and drain in order for it to improve. Sometimes draining occurs on its own, but generally it must be opened with the help of a warm compress or by a doctor in a procedure called incision and drainage (I&D).
What causes Abscess?
When our normal skin barrier is broken, even from minor trauma, or small tears, or inflammation, bacteria can enter the skin. An abscess can form as your body's defences try to kill these germs with your inflammatory response (white blood cells; pus). Obstruction in a sweat or oil (sabaceous) gland, or a hair follicle or a pre-existing cyst can also trigger an abscess. The middle of the abscess liquefies and contains dead cells, bacteria, and other debris. This area begins to grow, creating tension under the skin and further inflammation of the surrounding tissues. Pressure and inflammation cause the pain.
People with weakened immune systems get certain abscesses more often. Those with any of the following are all at risk for having more severe abscesses. This is because the body has a decreased ability to ward off infections.
Chronic steroid therapy
Sickle cell disease
Peripheral vascular disorders
Alcoholism or IV drug abuse
Other risk factors for abscess include exposure to dirty environments, exposure to persons with certain types of skin infections, poor hygiene, and poor circulation.
Symptoms for Abscess:
Most often, an abscess becomes a painful, compressible mass that is red, warm to touch, and tender. As some abscesses progress, they may "point" and come to a head so you can see the material inside and then spontaneously open (rupture). Most will continue to get worse without care. The infection can spread to the tissues under the skin and even into the bloodstream. If the infection spreads into deeper tissue, you may develop a fever and begin to feel ill.
Self-Care at Home- If the abscess is small (less than 1 cm or less than a half-inch across), applying warm compresses to the area for about 30 minutes 4 times daily may help. Do not attempt to drain the abscess by squeezing or pressing on it. This can push the infected material into the deeper tissues. Do not stick a needle or other sharp instrument into the abscess center, because you may injure an underlying blood vessel or cause the infection to spread.
When to Seek Medical Care- Call your doctor if any of the following occur with an abscess:
You have a sore larger than 1 cm or a half-inch across.
The sore continues to enlarge or becomes more painful.
The sore is on or near your rectal or groin area.
You develop a fever.
You notice red streaks, which can mean the infection is spreading.
You have any of the medical conditions listed above.
Go to a hospital’s Emergency Department if any of these conditions occur with an abscess:
Fever of 102°F or higher, especially if you have a chronic disease or are on steroids, chemotherapy, or dialysis.
A red streak leading away from the sore or with tender lymph nodes (lumps) in an area anywhere between the abscess and your chest area (for example, an abscess on your leg can cause swollen lymph nodes in your groin area)
Any facial abscess larger than 1 cm or a half-inch across
Exams and Tests:
The doctor will take a medical history and may ask you:
How long the abscess has been present
If you recall any injury to that area
What medicines you may be taking
If you have any allergies
If you have had a fever at home
The doctor will examine the abscess and surrounding areas. If it is near your anus, the doctor will perform a rectal exam. If an arm or leg is involved, the doctor will feel for a lymph gland either in your groin or under your arm.
The doctor may open and drain the abscess.
The area around the abscess will be numbed with medication. It is often difficult to completely numb the area, but local anaesthesia can make the procedure almost painless.
The area will be covered with an antiseptic solution and sterile towels placed around it.
The doctor will cut open the abscess and totally drain it of pus and debris.
Once the sore has drained, the doctor may insert some packing into the remaining cavity to allow the infection to continue to drain. It may be kept open for a day or two.
A bandage will then be placed over the packing, and you will be given instructions about home care.
Most people feel better immediately after the abscess is drained.
If you are still experiencing pain, the doctor may prescribe pain pills for home use over the next 1-2 days.
You are usually sent home with oral antibiotics.
Next Steps: Follow-up
Follow carefully any instructions your doctor gives you.
The doctor may have you remove the packing yourself with instructions on the best way to do this. This may include soaking or flushing.
Be sure to keep all follow-up appointments.
Report any fever, redness, swelling, or increased pain to your doctor immediately.
Prevention for Abscess:
Maintain good personal hygiene by washing your skin with soap and water regularly.
Take care to avoid nicking yourself when shaving your underarms or pubic area.
Seek immediate medical attention for any puncture wounds, especially if:
You think there may be some debris in the wound.
The puncture wound was caused by a bite - human, insect or animal.
You have one of the listed medical conditions.
You are on steroids or chemotherapy.
Once treated, the abscess should heal.
Many people require antibiotics, but you may not. The pain often improves immediately and subsides more each day. Wound care instructions from your doctor may include wound repacking, soaking, washing, or bandaging for about 7 to 10 days. This usually depends on the size and severity of the abscess. After the first 2 days, drainage from the abscess should be minimal to none. All sores should heal in 10-14 days.
वातावरणातील बदल, तसेच प्रदूषण आणि वाढलेल्या उष्णतेचा थेट परिणाम मानवाच्या त्वचेवर होत आहे. जगात कार्बन उत्सर्जनाची पातळी वाढल्यामुळे वातावरणातील ओझोनच्या थराला छिद्रे पडत आहेत. सूर्याची अतिनील किरणे थोपवणे हे ओझोनच्या थराचे काम आहे. त्यालाच छिद्रे पडल्याने ही अतिनील किरणे थेट जमिनीवर येत आहेत. या अतिनील किरणांमुळे त्वचेचे विकार वाढू लागले आहेत. त्वचेचा कर्करोग हा त्याचा एक भीषण चेहरा आहे. ज्यांची रोगप्रतिकारक क्षमता कमी आहे त्यांच्यामध्ये हा आजार लवकर होण्याची शक्यता असते. कर्करोगाचे प्रमाण वाढत जाण्याचे मुख्य कारण आपल्याकडील खाण्यापिण्याच्या सवयी आहेत. तंबाखू, गुटखा यांचे सेवन केल्यामुळे कर्करोग होऊ शकतो. कर्करोग अनेक प्रकारचे असतात. त्यात तोंडाचा, मेंदूचा, आतड्यांचा, हाडांचा हे प्रकार आपल्याकडे पाहायला मिळतात. जगात त्वचेच्या कर्करोगाचे कोट्यवधी प्रकरणे दरवर्षी पुढे येतात. याची कारणे कोणती, तो कसा होतो, बचावासाठी कोणती काळजी घेतली पाहिजे, याबाबत जनजागृती होणे गरजेचे आहे.
मिलानोसाईटस् पेशींमध्ये त्वचेचा कर्करोग होतो. त्यालाच मेलानोमा असे म्हणतात. त्वचेचा कर्करोग मुख्यत: त्वचेच्या बाहेरच्या बाजूला होतो. मानवी शरीरात रोज नव्या पेशी बनतात व नष्ट होतात. अनेकदा नष्ट होणार्या पेशींची संख्या वाढून त्याची गाठ तयार होते. त्याचे पुढे जाऊन त्वचेच्या कर्करोगात रूपांतर होते. त्वचेचा कर्करोग होण्याचे मुख्य कारण जास्त वेळ तीव्र उन्हात राहणे हे आहे. त्यापासून बचाव करण्याचा प्रयत्न करणे गरजेचे आहे. सूर्याची अतिनील किरणे त्वचेच्या आत जाऊन कर्करोगाचा धोका वाढतो. त्यामुळे उन्हात जाताना शरीर झाकणे गरजेचे ठरते. तसेच प्रखर सूर्यकिरणांपासून बचाव करण्यासाठी सनस्क्रीन लोशनचा वापर करावा. सनस्क्रीन लोशनमुळे त्वचेला अनेक फायदे होतात.
ज्यांची रोगप्रतिकारकशक्ती कमी आहे त्यांना या कर्करोगाचा धोका जास्त असतो. जगात अमेरिकेमध्ये त्वचेचा कर्करोग असणार्यांची संख्या सर्वाधिक आहे. अमेरिकेतील संशोधकांनी त्वचेच्या कर्करोगाचा एक गंध शोधून काढला आहे. यानुसार या गंभीर आजाराचा तपास आणि उपाय करण्यात मदत मिळणार असल्याचा त्यांचा दावा आहे. सध्या त्वचेवर टॅटू बनविण्याची फॅशन आहे. काही तरुण-तरुणी अंगभर टॅटू करून घेतात. मात्र, संशोधकांच्या म्हणण्यानुसार त्वचेवर टॅटू करणे हेही त्वचेच्या कर्करोगाला आमंत्रण देणारे ठरू शकते. त्यामुळे टॅटू करणे टाळावे. रोजच्या जेवणात व्हिटॅमिन डी 3 चा योग्य वापर केल्यास त्वचेच्या कर्करोगाचा धोका कमी केला जाऊ शकतो. व्हिटॅमिन डी 3 मुळे मानवी शरीरातील हाडे मजबूत होतात. सोबतच सूर्याच्या अतिनील किरणांपासून संरक्षणही मिळते. तेलाने त्वचेची मालीश केल्यानेही त्वचेच्या कर्करोगाचा धोका कमी होतो. मात्र, ज्या तेलात सन प्रोटेक्शन फॅक्टर (एसपीएफ) जास्त असेल त्याच तेलाचा वापर करावा. बदाम तेल, खोबरेल तेलाचा वापर मुख्यत्वे केला जातो. या तेलाद्वारे सूर्यकिरणांपासून आपल्या त्वचेचे संरक्षण केले जाते. रोजच्या जेवणात द्राक्षे, सफरचंदसारख्या फळांचा समावेश केला, तरी त्वचेच्या कर्करोगाचा धोका टळू शकतो.
कार्बन उत्सर्जन, मोठ्या प्रमाणावर होत असलेली वृक्षतोड, वायू प्रदूषण याचा थेट परिणाम पृथ्वीच्या वातावरणावर होत आहे. पृथ्वीचे तापमान वाढत आहे. त्यामुळे वातावरणातील वायूंच्या थरांचे नुकसान होत आहे. ओझोनला छिद्रे पडत असल्यामुळे सूर्याची अतिनील किरणे थेट पृथ्वीवर येत आहेत. अशा स्थितीत त्वचेचे संरक्षण न करता घराबाहेर पडल्यास त्वचेचा कर्करोग होण्याची भीती असते. स्त्री अथवा पुरुष दोघांनाही या कर्करोगाचा धोका असतो. अतिनील किरणांचा हल्ला कोणत्याही ऋतूमध्ये होऊ शकतो. मात्र, उन्हाळ्यात त्याची तीव्रता जास्त असते. त्यामुळे उन्हाळ्याच्या दिवसांमध्ये त्वचेची विशेष काळजी घेणे गरजेचे असते. सकाळी साडेआठ ते संध्याकाळी चार वाजेपर्यंतचे ऊन जास्त घातक असते. कर्करोगांच्या इतर प्रकारांपेक्षा त्वचेचा कर्करोग मोठ्या प्रमाणात आढळून येतो. त्यामुळे त्वचेला सुरक्षितपणे झाकूनच घराबाहेर पडावे.
त्वचेचा कर्करोग कुणालाही होऊ शकतो. मात्र, गोर्या रंगाच्या, निसर्गत: ज्यांचे केस लाल अथवा करडे आहेत, त्वचेवर सुरकुत्या असणार्या, नाजूक त्वचा अथवा घरातील कुणाला त्वचेचा कर्करोग झालेला असणार्यांनी त्वचेची विशेष काळजी घेणे गरजेचे आहे. यासाठी उन्हात न फिरणे, त्वचा जास्तीत जास्त झाकणे या उपायांसह डॉक्टरांच्या सल्ल्यानुसार कर्करोगापासून वाचण्याचे उपाय केले जाऊ शकतात. बालकांची त्वचा खूप नाजूक असल्यामुळे त्यांच्या त्वचेचे संरक्षण करणे खूप गरजेचे आहे. त्वचेच्या कर्करोगापासून बचाव करण्याची साधने तुलनेने सोपी आहेत.
मेलानोमा आणि नॉन मेलेनोमा हे त्वचेच्या कर्करोगाचे दोन मुख्य प्रकार आहेत. मेलेनोसाईटस्मध्ये त्वचेचा रंग तयार केला जातो. त्याला मिलेनीन असे म्हटले जाते. मिलेनीन सूर्याच्या घातक किरणांपासून त्वचेचे संरक्षण करते. मेलानोमा हा कर्करोगाचा प्रकार मेलेनोसाईटस्मध्ये होतो. या रोगाचे लवकर निदान झाल्यास इलाज करणे शक्य आहे. त्वचेच्या कर्करोगांच्या इतर प्रकारांपेक्षा हा सर्वात घातक प्रकार आहे. 2012 साली त्वचेच्या कर्करोगाची 75 हजार प्रकरणे समोर आली आहेत.
बेसल आणि स्क्वैमस कर्करोग
त्वचेच्या कर्करोगाचा हा प्रकार मेलानोमाप्रमाणे नसतो. हा कर्करोग बेसल आणि स्क्वैमस पेशींमध्ये होतो. या पेशी त्वचेच्या बाह्य आवरणावर असतात. या पेशींमध्ये होणार्या कर्करोगाचे लवकर निदान झाल्यास त्याचा पूर्ण इलाज करणे शक्य आहे.
फायदा अन् तोटाही
त्वचेच्या कर्करोगाबाबत झालेल्या संशोधनानुसार अतिनील किरणे त्वचेचा कर्करोग होण्यात मोठी भूमिका बजावतात. मात्र, हीच सूर्यकिरणे व्हिटॅमिन डी 3 चे मुख्य स्रोत आहेत. म्हणजे या किरणांचे अस्तित्व मानवाच्या हाडांसाठी आवश्यक आहे. त्यामुळे कडक, प्रखर उन्हापासून बचाव करण्यासोबतच सकाळच्या कोवळ्या उन्हामध्ये फिरणेही आवश्यक आहे. कोणत्याही सुरक्षेशिवाय जास्त वेळ प्रखर उन्हात थांबल्यास युवी-ए आणि युवी-बी ही किरणे त्वचेवर गंभीर परिणाम करतात. त्वचेतील डीएनएला हानी पोहोचवून त्वचेचा कर्करोग होण्याची शक्यता अजून वाढवतात. त्यामुळे उन्हात काम करणार्यांनी त्वचा झाकणे हा साधा सोपा उपाय करावा.