Skin Cancer Awareness Month may be behind us but spreading the healthy skin message remains paramount at Soleil OrganiqueÂ®. We would like to encourage you to start your Summer off with a self skin assessment. Because skin cancers often start as small seemingly innocuous changes in the skin, itâ€™s vital to know your skin landscape literally like the back of your hand. Here’s what you need to do:
Schedule a skin self exam once a month on your calendar. Treat it as you would any important meeting, leaving plenty of non-interrupted time.
To perform your skin self check, simply scan over your entire body, working top to bottom. You are looking for skin growths, marks and moles noting both new and old,Â inconspicuous, scary to scaly. Be sure to check hidden areas like in between the toes, groin area, under the arms and your scalp. A handheld mirror works well for examining your back. And a blow dryer can help separate hair for the scalp portion of your exam.
If you become concerned about a mole, freckle or any peculiar mark on your skin, take a picture of it with your phone and view it with your Dermatologist for evaluation. The comparison from the photo to the marks current appearance will be helpful at your appointment.
Once youâ€™ve performed your skin self checkup, itâ€™s time to review your findings with a Dermatologist. Make an initial appointment immediately and a book your follow-up for 6 months down the road. Pre and post Summer is the perfect time to perform a skin self exam.
Not sure what to make of your findings? Use the ABCD method as your guide and speak with your doctor.
The ABCDs of Skin Cancer
Asymmetry â€“ any existing skin mark or new one should look symmetrical regardless of the shape. For instance, something that is akin to a butterfly shape, should have â€˜wingsâ€™ that appear the same on both sides.
Border Â â€“ skin marks should have a border that is clearly defined and not irregular, scalloped or fading into the skin.
Color â€“ light tan, dark brown and black marks should be looked at by a professional.
Diameter â€“ while most melanomas are larger than 6mm, (about the size of a pencil-top eraser) they can be found smaller.
The American Academy of Dermatology adds an E as wellâ€¦
Evolving â€“ if a mole or lesion continues to grow it should be checked by a dermatologist.
Early detection and prevention is key when it comes to skin cancer. Along with your monthly skin self exams, use broad based sunscreen daily to prevent the incidence of skin cancer.