What is Bowen’s Disease and is it skin cancer?

Unfortunately, there are many weird and not so wonderful forms of skin cancer or, in this case, preludes to skin cancer. You may have heard the term Bowen’s Disease but not associated it with skin cancer and whilst it isn’t clinically defined as skin cancer, it is an early form of Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) with approximately 3 in 100 developing into this. Because of this, it is sometimes also referred to as Squamous Cell Carcinoma in situ.

Similar to an SCC, Bowen’s Disease starts in the epidermis, which is the outer layer of skin. It’s generally more superficial than SCC, but over time and without treatment it can grow deeper, plant roots and may even metastasise.

Bowen’s Disease can occur anywhere but is more commonly found on the torso, arms and legs. While extended sun exposure is one of the main causes of this disease, other irritants included immunosuppression, inflammatory skin conditions and previous skin injuries. Interestingly, this disease is more predominant in women and most cases occur in people over 40 years of age.

Bowen’s Disease can be confusing as it appears very similar to eczema, psoriasis or even ring worm, presenting as red, scaly patches with irregular outlines.

We can easily treat Bowen’s Diseases here at Just Skin. The most important thing to do is get any abnormal skin condition looked at and diagnosed by your doctor. From there, the best form of treatment can be prescribed and the healing can begin.


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