Posts for tag: moles
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.
May is officially Melanoma (Skin Cancer) Awareness Month, a time when patients who may be at risk of this skin disease are encouraged to see their dermatologist. Before you hit the beach this summer, set an appointment at Affiliated Dermatologists in Morristown, Mt. Arlington, Liberty Corner, and Bridgewater, NJ, for a skin exam.
What Is Melanoma?
Melanoma is the rarest form of skin cancer, but it can also be the most dangerous. It is caused by the growth of abnormal melanocyte cells. The cells look dark or black in color, which is why doctors suggest that patients watch moles closely. If not detected and treated quickly, the disease can spread to other parts of the body. Regular skin exams and early detection are very important. Certain people may have a higher risk of developing this disease including:
- Patients with a family history of melanoma.
- Patients who have very pale skin.
- Young adults who use tanning beds often.
- People who spend long amounts of time in direct sunlight without UV protection (sunscreen, glasses, protective clothing).
Melanoma Awareness Month
Because melanoma is best treated in the early stages, patients are reminded of the importance of seeing a dermatologist for a checkup during Skin Cancer Awareness Month. May is often the first month when patients begin to plan vacations in hot sunny locales. It is also the month when temperatures begin to rise in seasonal areas, like Morristown, Mt. Arlington, Liberty Corner, and Bridgewater.
Take Care of Your Skin
Learn how to take preventive measures to avoid skin conditions like melanoma during Melanoma Awareness Month. Actions you can take include:
- Wearing the correct sunscreen for your skin type.
- Waiting until late in the day, after 4 p.m. to go outside, or enjoy the outdoors (such as hiking) early in the morning before 10 a.m.
- Wearing a lightweight robe when relaxing by the pool to protect your skin when not swimming.
- Seeing your dermatologist promptly to examine any moles that change in appearance or other unusual skin growths.
Schedule Your Skin Checkup
It only takes a few minutes make an appointment for a skin checkup at Affiliated Dermatologists in Morristown, Mt. Arlington, Liberty Corner, and Bridgewater, NJ. Call 973-267-0300 today.