When you screen your skin on a regular basis, you will likely be able to detect abnormalities and other issues in the early stages. This often helps to provide the best possible chances of treatment when skin cancer arises. It is important to regularly screen your skin, as well as obtain examinations from your dermatologist. This can go a long way toward protecting your health and preventing substantial issues from impacting your life.
The Importance of Regular Skin Screenings
Regular skin screening help to catch skin cancer in the early stages. The sooner you are able to find the signs of skin cancer, the more treatable the cancer will likely be. This helps to provide the best possible outcome for you. Checking your skin on a monthly basis could potentially save your life, so it is important to ensure that you do so. This step will also help you to familiarize yourself with your skin, so that you will be able to notice when changes appear.
How to Screen your Skin
When you screen your skin, it is important to ensure that you have good lighting. The better the lighting is, the more likely you will be able to find differences in your skin. Without the appropriate lighting, important changes may be undetectable. You will also likely want to use a full-length mirror. For more difficult to see areas, you may need an additional handheld mirror or to obtain assistance from a family member or close friend. You will need to completely undress in order to examine every area of your skin. It is important to check the various areas of your body in order to find changes to your skin in the early stages.
Important Areas to Check
It can be easy to miss places when you attempt to screen your skin. It is crucial to keep in mind that cancerous growths aren’t only in places that are regularly exposed to the sun. You need to check every place of your body, not just the places that aren’t regularly covered by clothing. You will have to examine the face and the scalp for abnormalities. When checking your arms, it will be important to ensure you check both the front and back. This includes the armpits, as well. The hands should be checked thoroughly, both the front and back, in between the fingers, and underneath the fingernails. Check your legs, between your toes, and on the soles of your feet. These tend to be the most common areas where growths appear, so ensure that you check each of them thoroughly.
What to Look For
Understanding the signs to look for will go a long way toward ensuring that you catch them in the early stages. You will need to familiarize yourself with your skin so that you are aware when changes occur. Pay particular attention to new moles, especially if they have appeared after the age of 25. You will also need to search for moles that have increased in size or had a change to their outline, resulting in an uneven border. Spots that change from brown or black are important to take note of. It is also important to be aware of a spot that has become raised or has developed a lump within it. Any spot that looks different from other spots will need to be seen by your dermatologist.
Ensure that you carefully examine moles on your body. When the surface of a mole becomes rough, ulcerated, or scaly, you should have it examined by a professional. Also pay attention to how the mole feels. If it itches, tingles, bleeds, or weeps, it is highly likely that there is an issue with it.
Learn your ABCDE’s
Melanoma is often considered the most malevolent type of skin cancer. It is important to be aware of the signs of melanoma so that you can obtain treatment as soon as possible. When searching for melanoma, you will want to learn the signs that are known as the “ABCDE’s.” The A stands for asymmetry. Be cautious when your mole isn’t symmetrical. The B stands for borders. Pay attention to the borders of your moles. If they have expanded or are otherwise uneven, it is likely that there is an issue.
The C stands for color. It is important to note various changes in color, because they will indicate issues. D stands for diameter. Cancerous moles are generally larger than harmless ones. If the mole is larger in diameter than the eraser at the end of a pencil, you will need to have it examined by a professional. Finally, the E stands for evolution. If the mole has changed or looks different than it was before, it may very wall be cancerous. If your mole has any or all of these symptoms, you will want to have it examined by a dermatologist.
Visit your Dermatologist
If you notice any of these warning signs or spots during your skin screening, it will be critical to ensure that you have them examined by a dermatologist. This will help to ensure that cancerous spots, moles, or lumps can be detected in the early stages, when it is more likely to be treatable. This is an important step in protecting your health if you think that you may have the signs of skin cancer. It is also important to take the steps to protect your skin when you come into contact with the sun. Ensure that you always wear sunscreen and cover your skin as much as possible.
It is extremely important to regularly screen your skin for the signs of skin cancer. This will help to ensure that these signs are found in the early stages, when the cancer is more likely to be treatable. At Allen-Taintor Dermatology, we offer an array of services to keep your skin in the best possible condition. To learn more about our dermatology services and how they can help to protect your skin, contact our experienced team at Allen-Taintor Dermatology today!