GentleCure Blog

How to Tell the Difference Between a Pimple and Skin Cancer

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Is there a form of skin cancer that looks like a pimple? Yes, there are some variations of skin cancer that could resemble a pimple, especially in the earliest stages. Tiny bumps on the skin that refuse to heal may not be acne and could in fact be an early warning sign; discover how to tell the difference between a pimple or skin cancer with this guide. 

Pimple or Skin Cancer?  

Skin cancer is a very slow developing disease, often taking weeks, months, or even years to fully take hold. While pimples may come and go, a skin cancer bump or lesion will not heal on its own, and in fact will continue to grow and change its appearance over time. The average pimple stays on the skin for about a week and will begin to subside after popping it. Skin cancer “pimples” may pop, but that won’t help them heal. 

One of the most surefire ways to tell the difference between a pimple or skin cancer is whether or not the bump goes away. Even the deepest of pimples will begin to fade over time, but skin cancer requires professional treatment. 

Skin Cancer That Looks Like a Pimple  

While there are multiple forms of this disease, the skin cancer that most looks like a pimple is basal cell carcinoma, which is the most common type. Especially in its earliest stages, basal cell carcinoma may appear as a tiny red bump that could bleed or puss, but instead of healing post eruption, it will hold on and continue to grow. 

There is a chance that early melanoma could resemble a pimple, though this is less likely. Melanoma is most commonly brown or black and looks like a mole. Some melanomas, though, can start off as a dark red color, but are likely to have an irregular border that differs from the circular form of pimples. 

If you are concerned about whether a bump on your skin is a pimple or skin cancer, the best action method is to schedule a checkup with your dermatologist. A trained physician will be able to determine the source of your ailment and come up with a treatment plan. 

Surgery-Free Treatment for Skin Cancer 

If the bump on your skin turns out to be cancerous, you do have treatment options. IG-SRT is a non-invasive alternative to Mohs surgery, delivering effective results for non-melanoma skin cancer patients. Discover how it works and ask your dermatologist about whether IG-SRT is right for your diagnosis.