Know what to look out for during your next at-home skin exam.
When was the last time you truly looked over the moles and growths on your body and face? If you haven’t been performing at-home skin exams on yourself it’s high time you started. After all, changes in a mole or the development of new moles could be signs of cancer. From the office of our Fort Lauderdale, FL, dermatologists, here’s how to perform a self-skin exam and what to look for,
Step 1: Stand in front of a full-length mirror that will help you examine all parts of your body, from head to toe. Take time to examine both your front and back in the mirror and then both sides of your body with arms raised.
Step 2: Next you’ll want to examine your underarms, arms and palms. You even want to look between your fingers and inside the crook of the elbow. Then scan down to your legs. Make sure to examine your feet, even the soles in between your toes. If you have trouble examining your feet, use a hand mirror.
Step 3: You will want to utilize a hand mirror in order to examine the back of your neck and the scalp. Make sure to move your hand throughout your scalp so you can feel for any growths or bumps that you should further examine with the mirror. Once you’re done, use the hand mirror to check your back and buttocks.
Step 4: Utilize the body mole map created by the American Academy of Dermatology, which can provide valuable insight into how to examine your skin, the warning signs of melanoma and ways to protect yourself from skin cancer.
Not sure what you’re looking for?
While the body mole map above will certainly help you know what to look for, in essence, you’ll want to look for any changes in the shape, color or size of a mole. You also want to look for painful lesions and other spots that don’t heal. Some cancerous growths can even look skin-colored or resemble a scar, so it’s important that you see your dermatologist if you notice any of these signs of skin cancer.
Remember, moles should stay relatively the same in appearance throughout your lifetime, so if you notice that a mole has developed multiple colors, has a jagged border, has become asymmetrical or has scabbed over or started to bleed then it’s time to see us for an evaluation.
Even if you aren’t noticing changes to your moles it’s still a good idea to visit your dermatologist once a year for a comprehensive and professional skin cancer screening.
Whether you are noticing changes in your skin or you simply need to schedule a skin cancer screening with a qualified dermatologist, don’t hesitate to call Skin Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL, today at (954) 500-7546.