Know how to spot the early signs of skin cancer.
While we know that finding out that you have skin cancer can be rather scary, it’s comforting to know that skin cancer is actually relatively easy to spot because it’s often someplace where you can see it; however, skin cancer can develop anywhere, even areas that get little sun exposure. This is why it’s important to perform regular skin exams, so when a problem does arise you can turn to our Charleston, SC, dermatologist Dr. Joseph Myers, Jr. right away.
Here’s what to lookout for:
- Moles that change shape, size, or color
- Moles or any new growths that suddenly appear
- A sore that doesn’t heal
- A brown or black mark under a nail
- A growth that itches, bleeds, or scabs over
While melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, when detected early it can be treated. If you are dealing with any changes in your skin it’s important to play it safe and visit your Charleston, SC, skin doctor. And even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms or changes in your skin it’s important to see your dermatologist once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening.
It’s important to know that even if you have skin cancer you may still feel completely fine. Not everyone with cancer feels ill. Sometimes the only tip-off that someone has skin cancer is a suspicious mole or growth.
What are the risk factors for skin cancer?
There are several factors that can increase your risk for developing melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. These factors include:
- A family history of skin cancer
- Fair skin and light features (e.g. blonde hair; blue eyes)
- Having had a sunburn in the past
- Having a large number of moles
- UV exposure
- Radiation exposure
- Psoriasis treatment
If you have a family history of skin cancer it’s particularly important that you see a dermatologist every year and that you continue to examine your own skin once a month so that you are able to detect problems sooner.
When was the last time you got a full-body skin cancer screening? If you’ve never had one or if it’s been more than a year then it’s time to call Magnolia Dermatology in Charleston, SC, to schedule your next preventive skincare checkups. It could just end up saving your life.