Many people check their skin at least once a month to catch skin cancer early. During regular skin checks, you may notice some new moles or spots – but when do they become a real concern? Use the “ABCDE” method to help remember five key signs that you should get in touch with a dermatologist.
1. “A” for Asymmetry
Asymmetry occurs when half of the mole’s shape does not match the other half. If the mole is asymmetrical, it’s time to make a dermatology appointment.
2. B for “Border”
Unproblematic moles feature even, smooth borders. Get in touch with medical dermatology services in Southampton, PA, if the border of a mole is blurred, ragged, scalloped, notched, or uneven.
3. C for “Color”
Multiple colors could signal a problem. If a skin inspection turns up moles, patches, or spots that are white, gray, blue, or red, it could signal deeper issues. Varying shades of tan, brown, and black can also be concerning.
4. D for “Diameter” or “Dark”
If you self-inspect your skin often, it’s likely that you know what is normal for you and your body. A mole or spot that has grown could signal something warranting professional inspection.
Likewise, a spot larger than about a quarter inch in diameter (6 millimeters or the size of a pencil eraser) should be checked out.
D can stand for “dark” as well. Spots that are darker than others could be a problem as could colorless lesions. Colorless spots are rare but should not be ignored.
5. E for “Evolving”
Some moles or skin spots undergo changes in appearance, shape, color, or size. Textures may evolve too and become lumpy or hard.
Your skin may change in that it has a mole that was not there previously. Potentially cancerous lesions may not be painful but could bleed, crust, ooze, or itch.
The Ugly Duckling Method
The “Ugly Duckling” method suits some people better than “ABCDE.” For ugly duckling, you follow one principle: The vast majority of moles on your skin look like one another. Melanomas do not. If a mole is darker, lighter, or somehow odd compared with your other moles, get in touch with a dermatologist.
Similarly, if you have just one mole with no other moles surrounding it, that could be an ugly duckling.
Make an Appointment Today
To catch any early signs of skin cancer, it’s vital to perform your skin self-exams in a well-lit room with a full-length mirror. Use a handheld mirror for hard-to-see areas. A trusted partner can be a great resource for these areas, too. Check areas such as your scalp, face, neck, hands, feet, arms, chest, under your breasts, in between your fingers and toes, and under your fingernails and toenails.
Contact Pennsylvania Dermatology Specialists today for mole removal in Southampton, PA if you believe you have A, B, C, D, and/or E moles or an ugly duckling. It’s important to act as quickly as possible since early treatment is key for skin cancer cases.