Should you be scheduling a checkup with a dermatologist soon?
All of us have moles on our bodies, so it’s important that everyone keeps an eye on them for any warning signs that may be trying to tell you that you have skin cancer. So, how can you tell whether a mole requires medical attention from our Andover, MA, dermatologist Dr. Alan Rockoff?
If You See Something Say Something
It’s important that you are examining your skin regularly so that you can pinpoint any changes to a preexisting mole as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to turn to our Andover, MA, skin doctor if you notice any changes, as this could be an early warning sign. Also, if you are someone who has a family history of skin cancer or if you have a lot of moles or freckles you may want to consider getting regular professional skin cancer screening.
What to Look Out For
When it comes to examining your skin it’s important to understand what you should be looking for. When it comes to pinpointing skin cancer just remember your ABCDEs:
Asymmetry: You should be able to draw an imaginary line down the center of the mole and both sides should look identical in shape, size and color. If they don’t this could be a sign of skin cancer.
Border: A healthy mole has a clearly defined and smooth border while cancerous growths tend to have borders that are jagged, blurred or poorly defined.
Color: While moles may be different shades of brown it’s important to note that healthy moles are only one color while cancerous moles often contain more than one color. If you notice pink, white, red, or blue in the mole have it checked out right away.
Diameter: Most moles are under 6mm in diameter (about the size of a pencil eraser); however, melanoma is often much larger than 6mm.
Evolving: Moles should stay relatively the same throughout your lifetime. If they begin to change, or if you notice new moles or growth developing, it’s a good time to have them checked out.
Along with these changes, if you notice a growth or mole that is bleeding, crusted over, oozing, or won’t heal then you should also contact your dermatologist right away.
If you are dealing with a suspicious growth or mole on the skin it’s better to play it safe and have it checked out. Call The Rockoff Dermatology Center in Andover or Brookline, MA, today to schedule a consultation with us.