It’s important that you know when it’s time to turn to a dermatologist for a skin cancer screening.
Whether you are fair-skinned, a parent has been diagnosed with skin cancer or you spent a lot of time in the sun as a child, there are many factors that can increase your chances of developing skin cancer over the course of your lifetime. Our Charleston, SC, dermatologist Dr. Joseph Myers, Jr. is here to provide you with some guidelines on what to look out for when it comes to the health of your skin and when you should come in for a consultation.
A good rule of thumb is to get a skin cancer screening at least once a year, especially if you have any risk factors. You should also take the time to thoroughly inspect your skin and moles about every month. Knowing your skin is crucial to being able to pinpoint any changes as soon as possible.
What are some warning signs of skin cancer?
It’s important to call our Charleston, SC, skin doctor for an evaluation if you notice any of these changes to one or more moles (better known as your ABCDEs):
Asymmetry: You should be able to draw an imaginary line down the center of a healthy mole and the sides should be equal in size and shape. Uneven and asymmetrical sides could be early signs of melanoma.
Border: If the border of the mole is poorly defined, jagged or looks a bit abnormal this could also be a sign of melanoma. Healthy moles should have a clear, distinct border.
Color: While moles come in many shades of black, brown and tan, if you notice the mole changing color or developing more than one color then it’s time to have it looked at.
Diameter: The size of the mole also matters. While healthy moles can also be a bit larger at times, it’s far more common for them to be smaller than a pencil eraser. Moles that are larger than your other moles should be checked out.
Evolving: Moles should stay constant in appearance. If you notice any new moles or changes to any moles then it’s best to have it looked at. If moles begin to scab, itch, bleed or hurt, this could also be a warning sign.
No matter whether you want to schedule a routine skin cancer screening or you are noticing suspicious changes in your skin, the expert skin care team at Magnolia Dermatology in Charleston, SC, are here to meet your needs. Call our office today.