This irregular red nodule is an invasive squamous cell carcinoma (a form of skin cancer). Initial appearance, shown here, may be very similar to a noncancerous growth called a keratoacanthoma. Squamous cell cancers can metastasize (spread) and should be removed surgically as soon as they are diagnosed.
Review Date 7/1/2023
Updated by: Ramin Fathi, MD, FAAD, Director, Phoenix Surgical Dermatology Group, Phoenix, AZ. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update 11/27/2023.