Melanoma is a severe type of skin cancer that arises from moles that have experienced abnormal changes. The risk of melanoma increases significantly in the presence of ultraviolet light from the sun.
It’s crucial to know your skin and what is normal for you, so you can quickly notice differences and point them out. The sooner a skin cancer is determined and treated, the lower the risks and chances of surgery.
Here are some helpful tips to know when a simple mole should be cause for concern.
Keep an Eye Out for Abnormalities
As you grow older, you’ll start to feel the kind of moles, spots, and acne that usually occur on your face, back, arms, and legs. This makes it easier to catch abnormal-looking moles that look different than what you’re used to.
Get a professional evaluation immediately if you notice a mole that appears different from others or doesn’t look like it fits in.
Cancerous moles, among other things, can pop up virtually anywhere on your body, so it’s important to examine each part of your body thoroughly. Set a full-length mirror on the ground or wall in front of you, and use a separate hand-held mirror to look at difficult-to-see areas.
Although skin cancer typically occurs in areas of the body that are continually exposed to the sun, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen anywhere else. Even unsuspecting areas like the bottom of your feet or in between your toes could be affected.
Get a Professional Check or Ask a Buddy
Experts suggest that getting your partner or close friend to perform timely visual diagnoses to check for something that might look unusual can vastly reduce the risk of you developing an infection.
If you’re not comfortable doing it with someone you’re close with, then regular professional mole checks are ideal, especially if you feel something is wrong.
Always Remember the “ABCDE” Guide
One of the simplest and easiest guides that people can follow to check their moles is the “ABCDE” guide:
- A for Asymmetry: Spots that don’t look symmetrical, i.e., both sides aren’t equal.
- B for Border: Spots that have irregular or spreading edges.
- C for Color: Spots that consist of multiple colors like black, blue, white, and red.
- D for Diameter: Spots that increase in size and don’t stop getting bigger.
- E for Evolution: Spots that are constantly changing and growing.
Take Precautionary Measures
You’ve heard the phrase “prevention is better than cure” a million times already, but that’s because it works. Try to avoid factors that might increase your risk of skin cancer, like indoor tanning. Keep your skin healthy and smooth by using protection between the sun and yourself.
There are tons of ways to protect yourself from the sun; some people choose to hide under umbrellas and stay in the cool shade, while others use sunscreen and other similar products. If you want to ensure extra safety, try combining all of these methods and wear protective clothing like sunglasses and hats at all times under the sun.