What Does Basal Cell Carcinoma Look Like?

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of cancer found in humans. It occurs most often on the face, neck, arms, and hands. As with Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), the most important risk factor for Basal Cell Carcinoma is years of exposure to ultraviolet light.

Although not necessarily directly related to the use of tanning beds, tanning beds in conjunction with a history of phototherapy for psoriasis are considered significant risk factors for Basal Cell Carcinoma.

BCC most often looks like a “non-healing sore” or persistent pimple. however, in some cases, it may resemble a scar.


Basal Cell Carcinoma is best treated by surgical removal, and for many BCCs, the method of choice for removal is called Mohs’ micrographic surgery (MMS).

Mohs’ Micrographic Surgery is a combination of pathology and surgery surgical where the cancer is removed and the defect is immediately closed with stitches.

Mohs’ micrographic surgery involves the examination of tissue while the patient is in the clinic, and the incision is not closed until there is absolute assurance that all cancer has been entirely removed.

Dr. Alanen's Expertise

The microscopic examination and diagnosis part of the procedure is often regarded in the dermatology community as the most difficult part of the procedure. However, Dr. Alanen is a recognized subspecialist in microscopic diagnosis of skin cancer.