As the temperatures warm up, our long clothing layers come off. This is the perfect time to take a good look at your exposed skin. Are there any suspicious or changing moles on your body that were covered up during winter? Performing a routine full body skin check is a critical element towards optimal skin health and overall health. The most serious threats to your skin health, such as cancer, are almost always treatable if caught early.
While there are many elements to examine on your skin, such as its texture, moisture, irritation and pigmentation, it is highly important to evaluate your moles. Some of us may have one or two moles, while others have a body covered in them. Either way, each mole needs to be checked for cancerous signs. Cancerous moles, or melanoma, is the not the most common form of skin cancer. However, it is by far the most harmful. If left untreated, melanoma can be fatal.
Use Your ABCDE’s
When it comes to evaluating your moles for skin cancer, all you have to remember is your ABCDE’s. Follow this guideline at home for an easy checkup:
- A -Asymmetry. Does one half look different than the other half?
- B – Border Irregularity. Are the borders blurred or poorly defined?
- C – Color. Is the mole dark or multicolored?
- D – Diameter. Is the mole bigger than a pencil eraser?
- E – Evolution. Is the mole changing at all (size, shape or color)?
If you have a mole that you are suspicious about, it is always best to consult a dermatologist. At Olansky Dermatology Associates, we can diagnose your moles quickly. If we are concerned about the symmetry, borders, color or size of your mole, we may recommend a simple biopsy to be sure it is not cancerous. Take five minutes out of your day and go check your moles – it could save your life!