The new year brings many exciting changes. It brings us one step closer to spring and also a renewed vigor for creating healthy habits. For many, New Year’s resolutions include making health a priority. You may have decided to change up your diet or start working out regularly. These are both great ways to care for your body, but have you considered doing a regular skin check? As you go through your year, you may not remember to check for issues lurking beneath the surface of your skin. Now is the time to do a skin check.
What is a Skin Check?
A skin check is a full body scan where one looks for abnormal moles, new moles or growing moles. It is important to take note of all moles, so you can be aware when one changes or new ones appear. Your skin is your largest organ, but it is exposed to all kinds of dangers, including the sun’s harmful rays. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, so be proactive in scanning your skin.
How Often Do I Need a Skin Check?
Ideally, you should administer a self-check once a month. The scan should take no more than ten minutes but would save you time, money and lots of stress if you do find an irregularity.
Why? If you do happen to detect skin cancer in its early form, it can be easily cured. Sadly, one person dies from melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, every hour. Taking just ten minutes out of your month may just save your life.
What Exactly am I Looking For?
To make it simple and easy, we’ve come up with five things you need to look for in a mole when administering your skin check. All you have to remember are your A, B, C’s.
- Asymmetry: If you draw a line through the center of your mole and it is not the same on both sides, this may be symptomatic of skin cancer.
- Border: Harmless moles will have a clear and natural border, whereas moles that you need to take note of will have a blurred or jagged border.
- Color: Healthy moles are a solid brown, with no pigment changes. If your mole is multicolored, dark purple or black, it’s time to visit the dermatologist.
- Diameter: Bigger doesn’t always mean better. If your mole is larger than the size of a pencil eraser or growing rapidly, this could be a red flag even if it raises no other warning signs.
- Elevation: If your mole is not smooth or extremely raised, then it could be a cause for concern.
Should I be Worried?
If any moles on your body raise a red flag from any of these A, B, C’s, it is time to visit your dermatologist and get their opinion. There is no need for panic or alarm, but it is always better to have a professional take a second look, so you don’t have to worry, or take steps to treat the irregularity.
Put your mind at ease this new year and take steps to care for yourself. By doing a skin check, you may be saving your life, not to mention time and money. If you have checked your body from head to toe and have found some concerning spots, pick up the phone and make an appointment at Knoxville Dermatology Group. The experienced dermatologists know exactly what to look for from years of caring for patients. Visit our website today or give us a call at (865) 690-9467.