As we head towards summer, and continue to observe Melanoma Month, it is a great time to look at your skin for signs of skin cancer.
I recommend heading to a bathroom with good light and a large bathroom mirror. Get undressed down to your birthday suit and use a hand mirror to help you see your back and your backside in the bathroom mirror and use the hand mirror to see the bottom of your feet. While most skin cancers occur where you get sunlight, skin cancer can occur anywhere where you have skin.
You should be looking for the following things:
1. Anything that bleeds on its own.
2. ABCDE changes
a. Asymmetry – One half looks different than the other half of a growth or mole.
b. Border – Irregular or changing edge of a lesion or mole.
c. Color – Multiple colors, especially more than 2 hues of brown or multiple colors or a change in color.
d. Diameter – Change in diameter and especially a diameter larger than a pencil eraser.
e. Evolution – Any change in a mole or growth
While people who have a family history of melanoma or a personal history of any kind of skin cancer, light-colored eyes, red hair, or fair skin have an increased risk of developing melanoma, melanoma can occur on anybody’s skin. Therefore, it is essential to protect against sun exposure—and especially sunburns—with a broad-brimmed hat and a sunscreen with three qualities: broad-spectrum, water-resistant, and the highest SPF you can find. At our practice, we recommend the EltaMD family of sunscreen products. EltaMD products that are prefect for protecting your skin whether you are a sports enthusiast or someone trying to sooth dry skin. Wear EltaMD everyday under your makeup to protect your skin for the sun. Below are a few of the EltaMD products that we carry.
• EltaMD Sport is great for swimmers, skiers, runners, golfers, and other athletes
• EltaMD Pure is for those who want natural, chemical free ingredients
• EltaMD Facial is for the driest of skin, and is the most moisturizing of all the sunscreens
• EltaMD Clear Tinted helps calm and protect sensitive skin types prone to breakouts, rosacea, and discoloration
If you discover a suspicious spot on yourself or a loved one, call (978) 315-6320 or complete the form below to schedule an Urgent care, Necessary care, or Teledermatology appointment. We are here for you during these difficult times and encourage you to not delay your care—time is of the essence when it comes to diagnosing and treating skin cancer.