By Shady Grove Dermatology
December 22, 2016
Category: Skin Care
Tags: moles   skin cancer  

Skin cancer can happen to anyone. Know what to look for when it comes to suspicious skin growths.

How often do you examine your skin? Chances are, not much if at all. While we understand that there is so much to think about on a day-molesto-day basis, but a regular self-exam is a habit that's necessary. Of course, our Rockville, MD dermatologist, Dr. Josef Yeager, recommends keeping an eye out for your skin since even the smallest changes could be trying to warn you of cancer or other problems. Here’s what you should be looking for when it comes to your moles.

While most moles aren’t a cause for concern there are some that can develop malignant melanoma so it’s important to learn the ABCDE of moles so that if there is a change, you can visit our Rockville skin doctor right away:

Asymmetry: A normal mole will be completely even. The one side should mirror the other side. If the mole looks asymmetrical then it’s time to get a checkup.

Borders: If you have melanoma, the mole will have a ragged, undefined border around it. Normal moles will be round with smooth, clearly defined edges.

Color: Healthy moles usually have one color, while melanoma often has different patches of color. If any moles have different shades of brown, black, red or pink, then it’s time to visit a doctor.

Diameter: Melanoma is typically larger than the width of a pencil (around 6mm). While a large mole isn’t always indicative of melanoma, as melanoma can also grow smaller than this, it’s never a bad idea to play it safe and have larger suspicious moles checked out.

Enlargement: If it’s melanoma, a growth may change its color or size over time, and you may also start to notice it elevating from the surface of the skin. If you also see inflammation around the area, then it’s time for a professional evaluation.

Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD is dedicated to keeping everyone’s skin healthy and safe from the damaging effects of the sun. If you are concerned about any skin changes, or you just want to schedule a professional skin cancer screening, then pick up the phone and give our office a call.

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