Skin Cancer : Assessment abnormalities

Skin Cancer : Assessment abnormalities 150 150 Tony Guo

Assessment abnormalities


Loss of hair (localized or general)

Heredity, friction, rubbing, traction, trauma, stress, infection, inflammation, chemotherapy, pregnancy, emotional shock, tinea capitis, immunologic factors


Tumor consisting of blood or lymph vessels

Normal increase in incidence with aging, liver disease, pregnancy, varicose veins

Carotenemia (carotenosis)

Yellow discoloration of skin, no yellowing of sclerae, most noticeable on palms and soles

Vegetables containing carotene (e.g., carrots, squash), hypothyroidism

Comedo (acne lesion)

Enlarged hair follicle plugged with sebum, bacteria, and skin cells; can be open (blackhead) or closed (whitehead)

Heredity, certain drugs, hormonal changes with puberty and pregnancy


Slightly bluish gray or dark purple discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes caused by excessive amounts of reduced hemoglobin in capillaries

Cardiorespiratory problems, vasoconstriction, asphyxiation, anemia, leukemia, and malignancies


Sac containing fluid or semisolid material

Obstruction of a duct or gland, parasitic infection


Large, bruise-like lesion caused by collection of extravascular blood in dermis and subcutaneous tissue

Trauma, bleeding disorders


Redness occurring in patches of variable size and shape

Heat, certain drugs, alcohol, ultraviolet rays, any problem that causes dilation of blood vessels in the skin


Extravasation of blood of sufficient size to cause visible swelling

Trauma, bleeding disorders


Male distribution of hair in women

Abnormality of ovaries or adrenal glands, decrease in estrogen level, familial trait


Loss of pigmentation resulting in lighter patches than the normal skin

Chemical agents, nutritional factors, burns, inflammation, infection


Dermatitis of overlying surfaces of the skin

Moisture, irritation, obesity; may be complicated by Candida infection


Yellow (in white patients) or yellowish brown (in African Americans) discoloration of the skin, best observed in the sclera, secondary to increased bilirubin in the blood

Liver disease, red blood cell hemolysis, pancreatic cancer, common bile duct obstruction


Hypertrophied scar beyond wound margins

Predisposition more common in African Americans


Thickening of the skin with accentuated normal skin markings

Repeated scratching, rubbing, and irritation usually as a result of pruritus or neurosis

Mole (nevus)

Benign overgrowth of melanocytes

Defects of development; excessive numbers and large, irregular moles; often familial


Pinpoint, discrete deposits of blood <1-2 mm in the extravascular tissues and visible through the skin or mucous membrane

Inflammation, marked vasodilation, blood vessel trauma, blood dyscrasia that results in bleeding tendencies (e.g., thrombocytopenia)


Visibly dilated, superficial, cutaneous small blood vessels, commonly found on face and thighs

Aging, acne, sun exposure, alcohol, liver failure, corticosteroids, radiation, certain systemic diseases, skin tumors


Failure of skin to return immediately to normal position after gentle pinching

Aging, dehydration, cachexia


Increased prominence of superficial veins

Interruption of venous return (e.g., from tumor, incompetent valves, inflammation), commonly found on lower legs with aging


Complete absence of melanin (pigment) resulting in chalky white patch

Autoimmune, familial, thyroid disease

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