How to Monitor Your Skin for Signs of Cancer

A Mohs surgeon looking at a patient’s moles under a magnifying glassMonitoring your skin for signs of cancer is crucial for maintaining your health. Early detection can make a significant difference in treatment outcomes.

It’s imperative that you regularly check your skin for new growths or changes to existing moles and spots. Be on the alert for irregular patches that may indicate skin cancer.

This blog outlines some specific steps you can take to monitor your skin effectively.

Signs of Skin Cancer

Here are some key signs to watch for when examining your skin:

  • One half of the mole does not match the other half in shape, color, or thickness.
  • Edges of the mole are irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined rather than smooth and even.
  • Uneven colors, such as different shades of brown, black, tan, red, white, or blue within the same mole.
  • Moles larger than 6 millimeters should be checked, although melanomas can be smaller.
  • Changes in the mole over time, including changes in size, shape, color, or symptoms such as itching, tenderness, or bleeding.

Make it a habit to check your skin monthly. If you notice any of these signs, consult a healthcare professional. 

How to Perform a Skin Self-Examination

First, ensure you’re in a well-lit room with a full-length mirror and a hand mirror.

Begin at your head, examining your scalp using a comb to part your hair for better visibility. Progress to your face, neck, and ears, and then move down to your torso and arms. 

Don’t overlook areas like under your arms, between your toes, and behind your ears. Use the hand mirror to check your back and other hard-to-see places.

Keep a diary of all moles and marks, noting any changes in size, shape, or color. This record can be crucial for discussions with your healthcare provider. 

Regular checks help you stay proactive about your skin health.

When to Consult a Healthcare Professional

While self-exams are valuable, they don’t replace professional screenings.

You should see a dermatologist if you notice any changes in the size, shape, or color of a mole or if a new, unusual growth appears. Also, consult a professional if any skin changes do not heal or continue to bother you.

Remember, an early evaluation by a healthcare professional can greatly influence your treatment options and outcomes. Regular check-ups are a normal part of staying healthy and should not be delayed.

Schedule Your Skin Cancer Screening in Peachtree Corners, GA

If you’re concerned about changes in your skin or just need a routine check-up, the American Society for Mohs Surgery is here to help. Check out our surgeon locator tool to find a provider in your area. If you have questions, you can also call us directly at (785) 783-2070.

Posted in: Skin Cancer

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American Society for Mohs Surgery
6134 Poplar Bluff Circle, Ste. 101
Peachtree Corners, GA 30092
(785) 783-2070
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