Many people enjoy being out in the sunshine. The warmth and light can be good both physically and emotionally, however too much sun exposure is very dangerous for the skin. There’s no denying the importance of Vitamin D, still there needs to be a balance when it comes to the right amount of time out in the sun. You should always wear broad-spectrum high SPF sunscreen, and avoid the midday sun. Additionally, yearly skin cancer screenings and at-home self-checks can help identify potentially cancerous concern early. At the Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Center in Huntington, NY, we offer these tips on performing routine skin checks at home.
It is important to understand what you are looking for. The main thing is identifying new moles or any changes to existing moles. Use the ABCDE rules when evaluating suspicious moles.
A – Asymmetry
B – Borders
C – Color
D – Diameter
E – Evolving
Here is a step by step guide for a full body skin check:
- Start by checking your head, neck, and face. Special attention should be focused on the ears, lips, and nose. Because the scalp can be hard to see, it’s helpful to ask someone for help.
- Continue downward to the shoulders, the armpits, and the elbows, and then work through the rest of the arm, the hands, and the fingernails.
- A mirror can be helpful when checking the mid-section including the chest, abdomen, sides, and hips.
- Follow along down your legs, checking behind the knees and the bottom of your feet.
- Use the mirror again to help check your back and buttocks.
While it may seem overwhelming to check your entire body for skin cancer, these routine checks are vital to identifying suspicious moles early. The earlier a skin cancer is diagnosed, the easier the treatment and the better the prognosis.