May 03, 2017

Spotted: What to look for when doing a self-skin exam

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States. This means that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined diagnosis of breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer.

What many people do not know is that skin cancer is also the most preventable type of cancer. The key is to take steps to avoid sun exposure and to examine yourself monthly to spot potential signs of cancer early.

It is also important to schedule a yearly doctor’s exam to have a professional look at your skin, in addition to your self-skin exam.

Here are some things to be on the lookout for:

  • Skin sores that don’t heal
  • A mole or growth that appears new
  • Change in an existing spot or mole using the ABCDE rule
    • Asymmetry
    • Border irregularity
    • Color Change
    • Diameter is bigger than a pencil eraser
    • Evolving shape, color, or size 
  • Any sort of discharge, itchiness, tenderness, redness, swelling, or change in texture (scaly)

If you do encounter a spot that seems of concern during your self-exam, contact a doctor for a second opinion. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Aesthetic Surgery Associates offers comprehensive dermatology care for all patients. To schedule a yearly exam or a check-up due to a concern, please contact us today.