It’s important to know what to look out for when it comes to the early signs of melanoma.
Over the last decade, the number of melanoma cases has increased by 54 percent. As with any form of skin cancer, early detection is key to a good prognosis. Of course, knowing what to look for is paramount to making sure that you know when you should visit one of our Mt. Arlington, Morristown, and Bridgewater, New Jersey, dermatologists right away.
While most people are looking for those suspiciously dark moles and growths, our dermatologists also want you to be on high alert for pink lesions, as well. While they may seem harmless they could actually turn into melanoma. These lesions are better known as amelanotic melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer that often gets overlooked until it has become more visible (and also more advanced).
Our goal is to ensure that we detect these lesions early on before they spread. Our Bridgewater, NJ, skin specialists know that not all cancerous lesions look the same and we know exactly what to look for to detect these problems right away so that we can provide treatment immediately.
Other symptoms of melanoma include,
- Sores or lesions that don’t heal
- Moles or growths that crust, itch or bleed
- Moles that change in texture, shape or size
- Growths that contain multiple colors
- Lesions or sores that are painful or tender to the touch
- Growths and moles with asymmetrical borders
If you notice any changes in moles or any new moles that suddenly appear it’s important that you see your dermatologist right away. Even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms it’s a good idea to visit us once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening. Remember, anyone can develop skin cancer; however, there are certain risk factors that can increase your chances of developing melanoma. These risk factors include,
- Excessive sun exposure
- History of indoor tanning
- Family history of melanoma
- Fair skin and light hair
- Weakened immune system
To protect against melanoma and other forms of skin cancer it’s important that you wear sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days! Apply a water-resistant, full-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 50 about 20-30 minutes before going outside, and remember to reapply after sweating or swimming. Don’t forget to wear sunglasses and protective clothing to block out some of the UVA/UVB exposure. If you can wear a wide-brimmed hat, that’s even better!
Is it time to schedule your next skin cancer screening? This simple exam is completely non-invasive and only takes a few minutes. We will thoroughly examine you top to bottom to make sure that your skin looks healthy. Affiliated Dermatologists provides comprehensive skin cancer screenings to patients living in the Bridgewater, Morristown and Mt. Arlington, NJ, areas. Call us today to schedule yours.