The face and eyelids are very common locations for skin cancer. Many times skin cancers may appear as benign growths. Other times they can develop cancerous characteristics over a relatively short time. Potential warning signs are new growths with elevated, irregular boarders, coloration, indentation, or ulceration. If skin cancer forms along the edge of the eyelid it often causes the eyelashes to fall out.

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What Is Skin Cancer?

Cancer is a general term for a disorder where cells fail to reproduce in the normal, healthy condition, but continue to multiply. Given enough time, cancerous cells can overwhelm healthy cells and lead to pain, discomfort, and a break down of systems.

Skin is one part of the human body that is in a constant state of growth and replacement as old skin cells die and are replaced by new ones. However, if skin cells on the face are no longer reproducing correctly, this is immediately noticed as discoloration on the skin, or even the development of growths and sores may be accompanied by pain and itching with more severe symptoms as the condition progresses.

Causes Of Skin Cancer

As with other forms of cancer, facial skin cancer may manifest even without any discernible “trigger,” but there are common causes often responsible for creating the condition. Ultraviolet radiation, which is a component of sunlight, is one of the most common causes of facial skin cancer.

This means for many diagnosed with facial skin cancer, it’s not unusual for such patients to also spend much time outdoors, without protection from sunlight. In some cases, it may even occur through overuse of a tanning bed in a tanning salon; the light emitted to encourage tanning also contains UV radiation.

Facial Skin Cancer Types

There are three common types of facial skin cancer:

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma:

    This type of skin cancer is most commonly associated with sun exposure, and usually appears on the face, ears, neck, and other exposed parts of the head. Bumps that are pearly or waxy, recurring sores and brown lesions resembling scars are frequent symptoms.

  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma:

    This is another type of cancer normally manifesting as facial skin cancer. Sun exposure is again a common cause. The two most frequent symptoms are the formation of red nodules on the skin, and lesions with a scaly, crusty surface.

  • Melanoma:

    While melanoma can be facial skin cancer, it is not primarily a facial cancer, and can appear anywhere on the skin, even without overexposure to sunlight. Moles, for example, can become cancerous, and while men may commonly experience it on the face, women often are diagnosed with it on their lower legs.


Treating facial skin cancer has a variety of different methods. The decision of which treatment method to use will vary with the location of the cancer, the exact nature of the cancer, what stage the cancer is at when diagnosis occurred, and how widespread or contained the cancer is. There is no one universal form of treatment for facial skin cancer; it is always tailored to the specific situation of the patient based on careful diagnosis. Examples of some treatments are: Surgery: The growth, lesion, or other cancerous element is surgically removed, along with some surrounding healthy tissue.


A growth or lesion if frozen, which also freezes and kills surrounding cancerous cells to remove the growth.

Because there are so many factors involved in treating facial skin cancer, it is always important to get a consultation from an experienced specialist to receive the most effective treatment.

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