What are skin checks?
No matter your skin type you should learn to take proper care of your skin, which begins with proper skin checks.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you:
- Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
- See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
Melanomas, which look like moles, often grow inside existing moles, that’s why it’s important for you to conduct regular self-examinations of your skin to detect potential skin cancer early on, when it is treatable. Most melanomas are caused by overexposure to the sun beginning in childhood. Melanoma cancer also runs in families.
Melanoma is diagnosed via a biopsy. Treatments include surgical removal, radiation therapy or chemotherapy:
What should I look for?
The key to detecting skin cancers is to notice changes in your skin.
- Large brown spots with darker speckles located anywhere on the body.
- Dark lesions on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, fingertips toes, mouth, nose or genitalia.
- Translucent pearly and dome-shaped growths.
- Existing moles that begin to grow, itch or bleed.
- Brown or black streaks under the nails.
- A sore that repeatedly heals and re-opens.
- Clusters of slow-growing scaly lesions that are pink or red.
The American Academy of Dermatology has developed the following ABCDE guide for assessing whether or not a mole or other lesion may be becoming cancerous.
Asymmetry: Half the mole does not match the other half in size, shape or color.
Border: The edges of the mole are irregular or blurred.
Color: The mole is not the same color throughout.
Diameter: The mole is larger than one-quarter inch in size.
Elevation: The mole becomes elevated or raised from the skin.
Schedule a consultation in Seacoast, NH or North Shore, MA
If any of these conditions occur, please make an appointment to see one of our providers right away. A biopsy of the mole may be necessary to determine if it is or isn’t cancerous. We have three locations: Dover & Newington, New Hampshire and Peabody, Massachusetts, where we provide skin checks. To set up your appointment, request one online, or give us a call at (603) 742-5556 (Dover & Newington) or (978) 525-0100 (Peabody).
*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.