Knowing what the signs of skin cancer are is essential for better skin health, and you need to monitor your skin regularly to see if any moles are changing in size, appearance, or color. Most moles are benign, but some can be skin cancers like melanoma and may appear harmless on the surface. Visiting your dermatologist for a skin cancer screening and performing all-over body mole checks regularly can help detect pre-cancerous moles so you can get the treatment you need.
What to Look for with All-Over Body Mole Checks
You can develop moles on any area of the body, but some may be hazardous to your health. The rule of thumb we encourage all patients to use to detect the early signs of skin cancer is the ABCDE method:
One side of the mole does not match the other
The edges of the mole are irregular
You can see unevenness in color, including shades of black, blue, or tan
The mole can increase in size
You notice the mole changes dramatically within a week or month
How Often Should You Perform All-Over Body Mole Checks?
It is best to come in for an all-over body check if you notice any significant changes of a new or existing mole. We encourage patients to come in for an annual skin cancer exam if they have had unusual moles in the past or they have a family history of melanoma. Performing a skin exam at home weekly or bimonthly is prudent practice. Taking pictures of suspicious-looking moles can also make it easier to detect problems sooner.
We have pamphlets available at the clinic that also go over the ABCDEs of melanoma detection. If you are concerned, please have us check it. You can schedule your appointment at NW Face & Body through this link. Have fun in the sun, but remember that after 15 minutes you need sunscreen, hats and long sleeves to protect you from the damage of prolonged sun exposure. Never burn and never go to tanning beds.
Enjoy the rest of the summer. Kind regards from your spot patrol team here at NWFace and Body.