Skip to Main Navigation Skip To Content

Main Content

Basal and Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Examples of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma

These pictures are examples of what skin cancer might look like.

Basal cell carcinoma usually affects the head, neck, back, chest, or shoulders. The nose is the most common site. Signs of basal cell carcinoma can include skin changes such as a:

  • Firm, pearly bump with tiny blood vessels that look spidery (telangiectasias).
  • Red, tender, flat spot that bleeds easily.
  • Small, fleshy bump with a smooth, pearly appearance, often with a depressed centre.
  • Smooth, shiny bump that may look like a mole or cyst.
  • Patch of skin, especially on the face, that looks like a scar and is firm to the touch.
  • Bump that itches, bleeds, crusts over, and then repeats the cycle and has not healed in 3 weeks.
  • Change in the size, shape, or colour of a mole or a skin growth.

Squamous cell carcinoma usually affects the face, head, or neck. Signs of squamous cell carcinoma include any:

  • Persistent, firm, red bump on sun-exposed skin.
  • Patch of skin that feels scaly, bleeds, or develops a crust. The patch may get bigger over a period of months and form a sore.
  • Skin growth that looks like a wart.
  • Sore that does not heal or an area of thickened skin on the lower lip, especially if you smoke or use chewing tobacco or your lips are often exposed to the sun and wind.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology
Last Revised December 4, 2012

Last Revised: December 4, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine & Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology

Rate this content:
1 2 3 4 5

Did this page provide you with the information you needed?

Do you feel this information will help you make better health choices?

Will this information help you when talking with your doctor or other health care professional?

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.