Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer affecting more than 76,600 people in the U.S. each year.
Catching skin cancer early is the key to successful treatment – and it is critical to check your skin regularly.
Moles and skin spots that are asymmetrical, irregular, varying colors, or have a poorly defined border are unusual. Melanomas specifically usually are larger than a pencil eraser.
If you find something unusual, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or dermatologist. You can also ask Dr. Janowski to take a look at something during your next visit to our office.
The American Academy for Dermatology recommends the following steps for a home self-exam:
Standing Before a Mirror…
1. Examine the front and back of your body in the mirror. Raise your arms and examine the sides of your body.
2. Bend your elbows to get a careful look at forearms, upper underarms, and palms.
3. Examine the back of your legs, between your toes, and the soles of your feet.
4. Finally examine the hard to see areas (or recruit a partner to help) – like your back, buttocks, and top of your head. Also look carefully at your hairline – as we often forget to put sunscreen in that area.
The following chart can help you identify unusual moles. Once you start doing regular checks, you will know what your regular moles and freckles look like and will be able to identify new or changing patterns.
*Results may vary from patient to patient