Summer is in full-swing, and you’re likely spending more time in the sun. Skin checks for abnormal moles or growths is basic sun safety that should be practiced year round. Spending time in the sun can bring out freckles and spots you didn’t even know you had. Is it a mole? Is it a freckle? Or is it something to be more concerned about? It can be hard to determine which spots are normal, or if they need to be checked out. However, it is imperative that when something odd does appear gets diagnosed and treated correctly.
The skin is the largest organ of the body, and more people are diagnosed with skin cancer than any other form. Tanning beds are considered extremely unsafe and can increase the risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent. In fact, one person dies from melanoma every hour. When caught early enough, skin cancer is highly treatable. Fortunately, checking our bodies for signs of skin cancer is as easy as ABC.
One of the warning signs for skin cancer to be aware of is the symmetry of the mole. If you draw a line through the center of the mole and it doesn’t match, then it could be a sign of melanoma or other form of skin cancer.
A normal mole or “beauty mark” will have a natural and clear border. Spots with a blurry or jagged edge may mean it’s time to get it checked out by a dermatologist or other medical professional.
A typical mole should be a solid, brown pigment with no color variation. A spot with multiple colors, especially dark purple or black could be a sign of cancerous growth.
A normal mole or freckle should be about a quarter of an inch in diameter, or the size of a pencil eraser. Anything larger than that should be checked out by a doctor immediately. Even if the spot doesn’t raise any other red flags, something new and of that size is extremely concerning.
A normal mole should have a smooth texture and be of a normal height. Something that doesn’t meet those qualifications is a concern. All spots on your body should be similar in texture, color and height.
If you have a concerning spot that meets any of these conditions, don’t hesitate to see a dermatologist. At Knoxville Dermatology Group, our team specializes in identifying pre-cancerous growths and taking the proper treatment course. To make an appointment, contact KDG at (865) 690-9467 today!