Does skin cancer often occur on the face?

Yes, absolutely. Skin cancer can occur on any part of the skin, and is especially common in areas that get more sunlight, such as the face.

Should I be worried about a mole on my face?

Moles on the face are very common and many are harmless. However they can sometimes be hard to tell apart from early skin cancer, especially if they are small and have not developed any obvious skin cancer features yet.

If you have recently noticed a new mole or think that an existing mole may have changed, it is important to get a professional skin check to make sure it is not skin cancer.

What do non cancerous moles on the face look like?

A common type of benign mole on the face often appears as lumpy raised spot that is either flesh coloured or a uniform darker brown. Usually they have been present for a long time and some have large hairs coming out of them.

Here are some examples of these non-cancerous moles on the face:

If you have a non-cancerous mole on your face that you would like removed, visit our removing raised moles page to find out more about suture-less mole removal techniques performed at Skin Check WA

What do skin cancers on the face look like?

The appearance of skin cancer on the face will vary depending on the type of skin cancer. There are three main types of skin cancer:

  1. Basal cell skin cancer (BCC):

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This is the most common type of skin cancer. They often begin as a small flat pink discoloration on the skin that may appear quite innocent.

Here is an example of an early BCC skin cancer on the face.

Although this BCC skin cancer on the face was less than 2mm in diameter, detected with high resolution dermoscopy at Skin Check WA:

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As they grow, they can become more raised and pearly.   BCCs can also bleed easily due to their fragile surface.


  1. Squamous cell skin cancer (SCC):

This type of cancer usually occurs in people with long-term sun exposure and often develops from rough, precancerous sunspots. Early SCC skin cancer on the face can often be difficult to distinguish from a precancerous sunspot, but the appearance of a sharp or sore sensation when pressed can be a helpful clue that it has turned cancerous.

Here is an example of early SCC skin cancer on the face detected at Skin Check WA:

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Although this SCC skin cancer tried to camouflage itself to blend in with the other marks on his face, Skin Check WA skin cancer doctors were able to detect this SCC skin cancer using high resolution dermoscopy:

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As these cancers progress, they become much more crusty, sometimes even red and inflamed, and often the soreness worsens.

Here is an example of late stage SCC skin cancer on the face:

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  1. Melanoma:

This skin cancer is known for its potential to spread. Some people associate this cancer with black and irregular edges. This is not always the case. Others believe that they will bleed and become sore. However, these symptoms may only occur in late stage Melanoma – early forms can look quite different!

On the face, the appearance of this skin cancer can be quite varied. They often look like early “old age spots” where one part has become irregular. A helpful clue is the appearance of a darker section on one edge, or a mole that appears to be changing.

Here is an example of early Melanoma skin cancer on the face detected at Skin Check WA:

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If you have noticed a brown blemish on your skin that have changed or darkened in one section, it is important to have this professionally checked with an experienced skin cancer doctor using dermoscopy.


Although most Melanomas on the face are dark colored, some rarer forms can appear as a firm pinkish red lump.


Here is an example of a “pink/red” Melanoma skin cancer on the face detected at Skin Check WA:

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So if you or someone you love is in the high-risk category for skin cancer, it’s worth having a professional skin check. Call or book online with one of our experienced skin cancer doctors for a comprehensive skin check using dermoscopy