What to Look for in Your Moles
posted: Jan. 05, 2022.
Don’t let skin cancer sneak up on you. Be on the lookout for these telltale changes to your moles.
With over 9,000 people estimated to die from melanoma in 2017 alone, it’s important that you take the necessary precautions to not only protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun but also to visit your Raleigh dermatologist, at the very moment you detect any skin changes or suspicious growths. Here’s what to be on the lookout for when it comes to skin cancer.
Okay, it’s time to examine your skin in the mirror. Pull out a hand mirror to help you see hard-to-see areas more easily. Even though you will want to examine your entire body pay close attention to areas that often get the most exposure to the sun like your face, head, arms, or hands.
Now it’s time to employ what our Raleigh skin doctors like to call the ABCDEs of skin cancer. If a mole shows any of these signs then it’s time to have it checked out as soon as possible:
Asymmetry: A healthy mole will be symmetrical. If one half of the mole doesn’t look like the other half, this could be a sign of cancer.
Border: A healthy mole will have a clearly defined border. A suspicious mole, on the other hand, will have an unclear or even ragged, uneven border.
Color: Moles should only be one color. If you notice different colors then it’s time to get a professional skin cancer screening.
Diameter: Call us if you notice any moles that are larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
Evolution: Moles should continue to look the same over time. If you notice any changes to the color, size, or shape of a mole then it’s time to call us.
While this is the standard method for determining whether a mole could be cancerous or not, it’s important to note that not all melanoma will fit these categories. In some cases, melanoma may actually be smaller or not take on more than one color. So, the best way to protect against skin cancer is to visit your dermatologist at least once a year for a full screening and to continue to examine your skin regularly for any changes.
If something seems off it’s always a good idea to play it safe and visit your Raleigh, NC dermatologist right away. The sooner we detect skin cancer, the easier it will be to treat.