With the sun shining and beaches glistening, there's no denying that we live in the sunburnt country and our skin often cops the brunt of its nasty side effects.
According to the Cancer Council, it is recommended all adults should check their skin and moles every 3 months.
However, melanomas can develop in between visits to your skin doc, therefore you should know how to check your own skin and moles.
Start by stripping off in a room with good light and a full length mirror. If you are on your own, use a hand-held mirror to check skin you cannot see.
Important tip: Check all of your skin, not just sun-exposed areas. This includes your underarms, scalp, groin, and the soles of your feet.
Here are some signs it may be time to head to the skin doctor for a check up:
Is there a new spot on the skin or a spot that is changing in size, shape, or color?
Is there a spot that looks different from the others?
Let us introduce you to the ABCDE rule of specific things to look out for:
- A is for Asymmetry: One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.
- B is for Border: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.
- C is for Color: The color is not the same all over and may include different shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.
- D is for Diameter: The spot is larger than 6 millimeters across (about ¼ inch – the size of a pencil eraser), although melanomas can sometimes be smaller than this.
- E is for Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.
Other warning signs are:
- A sore that doesn’t heal
- Spread of pigment from the border of a spot into surrounding skin
- Redness or a new swelling beyond the border of the mole
- Change in sensation, such as itchiness, tenderness, or pain
- Change in the surface of a mole – scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or the appearance of a lump or bump
While some moles don't fit into these rules, it's best practice to show your doctor anything that looks a little out of the ordinary.
A revolutionary digital healthcare solution that connects GP’s, Specialists & Patients is here. Phenix Health provides software that turns any computer, smart phone or tablet into your very own portable medical clinic including mole mapping.
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