Which Skin Conditions Get Mistaken for Skin Cancer?

It’s common to notice a weird-looking mark on your skin from time to time—especially after spending plenty of time outdoors exposed to the sun’s rays—and ask yourself, “Is it skin cancer or something else?” There’s no need to panic and assume the worst. Sometimes these changes on your skin may be nothing to worry about. Since skin cancers don’t always look the same, and some of them may resemble the symptoms of other skin conditions, it’s easy to think a spot or bump you’ve noticed before may be cancer. Keep in mind, however, that when a red rash shows up on the skin, this could be due to any number of inflammatory skin conditions. That said, potential skin cancer is nothing to ignore. If you’re unsure about what’s happening with your skin, it’s always best to have a dermatologist examine it, as these specialized physicians have years of training in identifying thousands of skin problems. Our team at Skin Wellness Physicians provides diagnosis and treatment for all types of skin cancers, including the deadliest form, melanoma. Naples-area residents wondering what else can appear on their skin should be aware of these common, non-cancerous growths that often get confused for skin cancer—or vice-versa.  


Since acne causes small red bumps (pustules or papules), along with redness due to inflammation, it can appear similar to the early stages of basal cell carcinoma. Typical symptoms of basal cell carcinoma, a type of non-melanoma skin cancer, include shiny reddish patches and bumps that resemble flesh-colored moles or pimples.


Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that is caused by a problem with the immune system, resulting in new skin cells being produced too rapidly. It causes dry, flaky plaques with a reddish tinge to appear on the skin, along with itching and soreness.

Cherry Angioma

Cherry angiomas are circular or oval red growths that contain a small cluster of blood vessels and may appear anywhere on the body. The cause of these marks is not fully understood, but they’re believed to be linked to age, genetics, pregnancy, and other medical conditions.

Don’t panic if you see any of these spots, lesions, or rashes—but also don’t put off contacting us to take a look. Learn all about prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for non-melanoma skin cancers and melanoma from Naples’ Skin Wellness Physicians. If there’s an unusual mark on your skin that you’re unsure about, request a consultation to have your skin checked out by calling us at (239) 732-0044 or fill out a contact form, and we will get back to you shortly.

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