Squamous cell carcinoma (cancerous)
What it is: Squamous cell cancer develops in the cells that make up the outer layer of the skin. According to Dr. Rosen, squamous cell carcinomas that turn up on areas of the skin that haven’t had much sun-exposure have a higher risk of spreading than those found on sun-damaged skin.
What it looks like: Squamous and basal cell carcinomas can look very similar, appearing most often as crusted or scaly red sores or wart-like bumps. It tends to grow more rapidly than basal cell cancers.
How it’s treated: Like basal carcinomas, these cancers are usually treated with a topical cream or surgery, but in advanced cases, they may require radiation therapy. While squamous cell carcinomas are more dangerous than basal cell cancers, the cure rate is still 95 percent. However, squamous cell cancers must be treated right away because they can destroy skin, lip or nasal tissue and in rare cases, can spread to the lymph nodes or organs.