Basal Cell Carcinoma

Medical Dermatology


A common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma is typically diagnosed in areas of the face, scalp, neck, hands, and other body parts which are frequently exposed to the sun. When caught early, basal cell carcinoma is easily treated. Treatment can include excision, electrodestruction and curettage or Mohs Micrographic surgery. After a numbing agent is injected, the affected area is removed. Your doctor will tell you which of the three subtypes of basal cell carcinoma is present and to what degree. They are listed below.


Superficial basal cell carcinoma can sometimes be mistaken for a small patch of psoriasis due to their similarities in appearance. A red patch with a scaly top layer is present along with many small microerosions around the affected area. This type of basal cell carcinoma is typically found on the shoulders and upper torso of young adults.


Smooth, pink, pearlescent growths on the skin may be a sign of nodular basal cell carcinoma. Typically it has soft contents, similar to that of a pimple but often larger. This type of basal cell carcinoma can be particularly aggressive and is the most common form of the disease, so if you have a suspicious lesion matching this description, contact a dermatologist immediately.


Also known as Morphoeic basal cell carcinoma, the appearance of this type looks almost like scar tissue with waxy-looking skin and wide, deep wounds. Sclerosing basal cell carcinoma is typically detected on the face and head.