basal cell carcinoma on the skin

This may not be the exact look of your condition. Please confirm your diagnosis with your dermatologist.

What is it?

Basal cell carcinomas can present on your skin in varying forms including growths or lesions as red patches of skin, pink growths, open sores and shiny bumps. Basal cell carcinomas are commonly caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Basal cell carcinomas are rarely life-threatening when treated properly.


Basal cell carcinoma typically presents as a wound or sore that will not heal. The wound or sore may bleed or scab before eventually healing, and then can reopen. 

They can also present as reddish areas of skin on the parts of the body that are exposed to the sun, including the face, neck, arms and legs. Sometimes they look like a scar, a pink growth or a shiny bump which are often mistaken for moles.

Could this be what you have?

Almost three million people each year are diagnosed with basal cell carcinomas. Basal cell carcinomas appear most frequently in people whose lifestyles expose them to unsafe levels of UV rays. Though the average age of basal cell carcinoma patients is declining, it is still most frequent in people over age 40. People with fair skin, blond or red hair are also more susceptible as are people with blue, green or grey eyes. Men are also at higher risk.

Treatment Options @ Pinnacle

We will most likely perform a biopsy to confirm a diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma. Once confirmed, basal cell carcinomas can be treated through:

Mohs micrographic surgery – Primarily used for skin cancers, such as basal and squamous cell carcinoma, on cosmetically and functionally sensitive areas. Advantages of Mohs surgery include its ability to spare healthy tissue and a high cure rate of approximately 98 percent for primary, non-recurrent basal cell carcinomas.

Excisional surgery – This procedure involves the removal of a small margin of surrounding healthy tissue as a preventive measure. 

Electrodessication and curettage – After anesthetizing the area, the growth is "scraped off" and cauterized (burned) to destroy remaining tumor cells and to stop bleeding. Usually not suitable for advanced cases or for growths in cosmetically and functionally sensitive areas.

Topical Therapeutic Options – Also exist for certain lesions and can be discussed with your dermatology provider when appropriate.