Skin cancer is a common condition that can have devastating effects on the patient. While there is no way to guarantee you will never develop cancer, there are steps you can take to help prevent it and recognize the early symptoms.
The single best thing you can do for your skin is to protect if rom UV rays. It is important to avoid sun exposure during peak hours, use sunscreen, and do not use tanning beds.
While keeping your skin sun-safe is important, annual screenings from a professional can help in early detection. In addition to these exams, we encourage patients to perform monthly skin self-exams.
You’ll want to familiar with your skin and look at all the same areas your dermatologist checks, including between the toes, knee folds, behind the ears, and elbows.
By following the process below, you can ensure a thorough home screening:
- Start off by looking at the face and neck, include the ears and lips.
- With a mirror or the help of a friend, check the scalp.
- Check the hands and arms, starting at the fingers and working your way up. Use a mirror to assist with elbows and underarms.
- Look at the chest and work down to the toes, don’t skip the bottom feet or heels.
- Use a mirror to check the back in the same way.
- Check the genitals.
Some of the things you need to note:
- New moles
- Changing moles (size, color, or shape)
- Lesions that are bleeding or itch
- Sores that will not heal
- Moles that are multiple colors, irregularly shaped, or growing rapidly
Being proactive about checking for skin cancer can make a dramatic difference in outcome if you develop the disease. If you live near Huntington NY, call Dermatology and Laser Center today at (631) 417-3300to schedule your screening.