Do you have a suspicious-looking mole? Then find out the warning signs of skin cancer.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US. Of course, a lot of people don’t think skin cancer will happen to them, but if a mole has started to change or look out of place, our Brookline and Andover, MA, dermatologists Dr. Alan Rockoff and Dr. Katherine Fening tell you what to be on the lookout for when it comes to your changing skin.
What are some signs of skin cancer?
Even a mole that you’ve had your whole life can turn into melanoma, a serious and potentially life-threatening skin cancer. While many moles often won’t turn into cancer, if you spend a lot of time in the sun (perhaps you work outdoors), if you don’t wear sunscreen or if you’ve ever had a bad sunburn, then you may be at an increased risk of developing melanoma.
You should always call your Brookline and Andover skin doctor right away if you notice any of these changes to your moles:
- Color changes or the presence of more than one color in your moles
- Itching or scaling
- An increase in size or a change in its shape
- Blurry or undefined edges
- A lump in the mole
How can I prevent skin cancer?
One of the best ways to protect your skin from skin cancer is by wearing sunscreen everyday; unfortunately, this habit it not something that many people adopt. In fact, according to a 2013 survey conducted by the CDC, they found that only 14.3 percent of men and 29.9 percent of women used sunscreen regularly.
Here’s how to ensure that you are getting the most from wearing sunscreen:
- Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is also water-resistant
- Look for sunscreen that has at least an SPF of 30
- Apply a generous amount of sunscreen about 15 minutes before going outside
- Apply sunscreen to all areas of exposed skin on the face or body
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or right after sweating or swimming
If you have noticed changes to one or more of your moles, it’s always best to play it safe rather than sorry and schedule an appointment with The Rockoff Dermatology Center in Brookline and Andover, MA. The sooner you seek treatment the better.