It’s important that you are performing self-exams on your skin regularly.
The average person has at least 10 moles anywhere on their body. There are many factors such as genetics and sun exposure that can contribute to how many moles a person may have. By and large, moles should stay the same in appearance but it’s important that you are examining your skin regularly to check for any changes to your moles that could indicate skin cancer. Our Morristown, Bridgewater, Mt. Arlington and Liberty Corner, NJ, dermatologists are here to tell you the ABCDEs of self skin-cancer screenings so you know what to look out for.
It’s important that you are examining your skin at least once a month for any visible changes in your moles. After all, if you don’t check them regularly how will you know that something is wrong? Of course, if you’ve never performed a self-exam before you may be a bit confused about what to look for. Don’t worry; just remember your ABCDEs:
If you drew an imaginary line down the center of a mole would both sides look the same or would they look different? A healthy mole is symmetrical while melanoma often asymmetry and uneven.
A healthy mole usually has a very clearly defined and smooth border. Cancerous moles, on the other hand, have poorly defined, often jagged and rough edges.
Your moles should only be a single color, often a shade of brown. In some instances, if a mole has several different colors (e.g. black, brown, tan, pink, blue, etc.) this could be a warning sign of melanoma.
Healthy moles are usually rather small, while cancerous lesions are often larger than 6mm in diameter (this is roughly about the size of a pencil eraser).
This is one of the most important factors when it comes to early detection and treatment of melanoma. If you notice that there are changes to a mole, no matter whether it’s the size, color or shape, it’s important that you contact our skin doctor as soon as possible for a thorough evaluation.
If you have a suspicious mole it’s good to play it safe and schedule a consultation with one of our dermatologists here at Affiliated Dermatologists. We have offices in Morristown, Bridgewater, Mt. Arlington and Liberty Corner, NJ. Call us today to schedule your skin cancer screening.