Melanoma Awareness Month – Why Should You Schedule A Yearly Skin Exam?
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, and it’s important to catch it early for the best chance of successful treatment. During Melanoma Awareness Month, it’s a good idea to schedule a yearly skin exam with a dermatologist.
A dermatologist can examine your entire skin surface, including areas that are hard to see or reach, such as the scalp, between the toes, and under the nails. They can also identify any moles or spots on your skin that may be abnormal or suspicious-looking, and can perform a biopsy if necessary.
During a skin exam, the dermatologist will look for the ABCDE signs of melanoma:
• Asymmetry: One half of the mole or spot is different from the other half.
• Border: The border is irregular, scalloped, or notched.
• Color: The color is uneven, with shades of tan, brown, black, red, blue, or white.
• Diameter: The spot or mole is larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
• Evolution: The spot or mole is changing in size, shape, or color.
Regular skin exams are especially important for people who have a family history of melanoma, have a lot of moles, or have had a previous melanoma. It’s also important for people who have a fair skin, blond or red hair, and blue or green eyes, as they are more susceptible to sun damage and skin cancer.
By scheduling a yearly skin exam, you can take an important step in protecting your health and catching any potential skin cancer early.