The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you do a head-to-toe self-examination of your skin every month, so you can find any new, or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous. Over time, you get to know your skin better, which makes it easier to spot changes. These checks don’t generally take very long and they are essential.Skin cancers are almost always curable when found and removed early.
When you perform a self-exam, there are some common signs for which you should search:
Any spot that changes in size or color should be brought to the attention of a doctor. In fact, a growth of any kind should always be seen by a doctor. This is particularly true if that growth is of a different color than your skin. Black, brown, pearly, and multicolored spots should be tested to make sure they are not cancerous.
Open sores and scabs that won’t heal could be more than what they seem. They could be cancerous lesions.
In addition to your regular self-examinations and visits with a physician, continue to take precautions to prevent cancer. Even if you are cancer-free now, the risks still exist. Don’t tan; as fashionable as it has sometimes been, it’s bad for your skin. Wear sunscreen anytime you’re in the sun. If you’re not going to be outdoors long, use a daily moisturizer that contains SPF.
When you need a physician to perform an exam, or you’re concerned about something you’ve found during your own, call us at Inverness Dermatology.