Do you know your ABC’s? Not the ABC’s that you sang about in kindergarten, but the important acronym that could help you to spot skin growths, moles, or freckles that could be cancerous? Even if you practice sun safety during the summer, like avoiding peak sunny times of day, reapplying sunscreen, and wearing sunscreen daily, it’s important for your skin’s health to check your skin at least once a month and continue to practice sun safety even in fall and winter. In this blog, we’ll discuss the ABC’s of checking your skin monthly and the importance of seeing a dermatologist yearly. Continue to practice sun safety by applying Coral Isles’ sunscreen daily. Reef-friendly and oxybenzone-free, our sunscreen is safe for the entire family to use. Purchase your bottle today!
Monthly Skin Check
As a general rule of thumb, you should be checking your skin at least once of a month for new growths, moles, or freckles. You should also take note of any moles, growths, or skin lesions that have changed or begun to grow in a new way. Moles or lesions that are itchy, sore, bleed, or continuously scab over but don’t heal completely are also an indicator that something could be wrong. Be sure to use a mirror or ask a partner or family member to check the areas of your body that you can’t see, such as your back or neck. By completing this check monthly, you can be aware of any skin issues that might arise so you can alert your doctor quickly if anything changes. Skin cancer is easily treatable if caught early, so monthly skin checks are vital.
The ABC’s of Early Detection
Because knowing your skin and any potential issues is the best way to catch melanoma early, dermatologists have come up with the ABC’s of early detection:
A – Asymmetry
If a mole that has previously been symmetrical suddenly changes and becomes asymmetrical, it could be a sign of melanoma. A good test of symmetry is to draw a line through the mole. If the halves match, then the mole would be considered symmetrical. If they do not, it’s time to schedule a checkup.
B – Border
A benign mole is smooth and doesn’t have jagged borders. A mole that could potentially be cancerous may have edges that appear scalloped or crooked. Again, if you notice that a mole is forming borders that are no longer smooth and straight and it is getting larger, it’s best to contact your doctor as soon as possible.
C – Color
Harmless moles or lesions are the same color and are often a single shade of brown. If the mole or lesion appears multicolored, this could be a warning sign. The colors could range from red, blue, brown, tan, white, or black.
Completing regular skin checks is an easy way to monitor your skin and alert your doctor quickly if you notice anything strange. It’s also important to schedule yearly skin checks with a dermatologist, especially if you have a history of skin cancer in your family. If you do notice a mole, growth, or lesion that appears to be spreading or has any of the characteristics listed above, alert your doctor immediately. Also, be sure to protect your skin by applying sunscreen daily. Shop Coral Isles and stock up now!