Squamous Cell Carcinoma

What Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. It starts in cells of the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin. Usually, SCCs are found on the parts of skin that are most often exposed to the sun (i.e., hands, face, arms, legs, ears, mouths, and even bald spots on the top of the head). 

How Common Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Over 1 million people are diagnosed with SCC in the US each year. Men are about two times more likely than women to develop SCCs. People over the age of 50 are most likely to get SCCs, but the incidents have been rising in younger people.

What Causes It?

Repeated exposure to ultraviolet light, either from the sun or from tanning beds, is the main cause of SCC. People with light skin, hair  and eyes (blue, green, or gray) have a higher risk of skin cancer in general, as well as SCCs. However, most of the skin cancers that develop in African Americans are SCCs.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of SCC?

To identify Squamous Cell Carcinoma, look for actinic keratoses or sun-induced precancerous spots. Squamous cell spots are thick, rough, horny and shallow when they develop. Other signs and symptoms include skin changes like:

  • A rough-feeling bump or growth which might then crust over and bleed.
  • A growth that is higher than the skin but has a depression in the middle.
  • A sore that will not heal, or a sore that heals and then comes back.
  • A piece of skin that is flat, is scaly and red.
  • A precancerous growth called actinic keratosis, which is a bump or lump that can feel dry, itchy, scaly, or be discolored.
  • A precancerous skin lesion called actinic cheilitis, which happens mainly on the lower lip. The tissue becomes pale, dry, and cracked.
  • A precancerous condition called leukoplakia, in which white spots develop in the mouth, on the tongue, gums, or cheeks
Man applying sun lotion at the beach

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treatment in NYC 

We treat a full range of skin conditions and address your overall well-being. If you have Squamous Cell Carcinoma or believe that you may, Dr. Wechsler offers treatment options to help. To schedule a consultation, contact us at 212-396-2500 or via email at info@dramywechsler.com.

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* Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.


We're happy to answer any questions you may have, feel free to call us at
(804) 775-4559