Even if you are diligent about applying sunscreen and wearing protective gear all summer, it is important to regularly examine your skin from head-to-toe. Self-exams help you to become familiar with your skin and identify and potential skin cancers early. Follow the ABCDE guideline to understand what you should be looking for to perform a successful self-exam.
Asymmetry – If you draw a line through the middle of the mole and the two sides do not match, the mole is asymmetrical, which is a characteristic of melanoma.
Border – The borders of a benign mole is usually smooth and even while the borders of melanoma tend to be uneven. They may appear to be scalloped or notched.
Color – Benign moles are usually all one color, such as a single shade of brown. A mole with a variety of colors such as shades of brown, tan, red, or black may be a warning signal of melanoma.
Diameter – Benign moles are usually smaller in diameter than malignant moles. Melanomas can become larger in diameter than the eraser on a pencil (1/4 inch or 6mm). However, melanomas may be smaller in the early stages.
Evolving – Benign moles do not usually change in appearance and tend to look the same over time while malignant moles can change in size, shape, color, and or elevation. Other changes such as bleeding, itching, or crusting can be warning signs of melanoma.
For additional health and wellness information contact a CORE Wellness Coach at (800) 932-0034 or email us!