How to Check for Skin Cancer at Home
- Posted on: Jun 15 2018
After that long hard winter, it’s officially summer. We here at The ENT & Allergy Centers of Texas know how to have fun in the sun, but always remember that too much sun is a big no-no. After all, skin cancer shows up in various forms, so it’s important to know what causes it, how to prevent it, and how to identify it. As we spend more time in the sun, it’s important to use sunscreen and avoid being in the sun too long during the peak UVA/UVB hours of 10AM to 4PM. When in doubt, reapply sunscreen and wear sun-protective clothing like hats and sunglasses. Even if you haven’t been as diligent with your skin in the past, it’s worth learning a few tricks to identify what might be melanoma, one of the deadliest kinds of skin cancer. Ready? Meet the ABCDE method.
A stands for Asymmetry.
Asymmetry: One end/part of a birthmark or mole looks different from the other end in color or shape.
B stands for Border.
Border: The edge is ragged like a coastline on a map, blurred, or solid in part then less defined on another side.
C stands for Color.
Color: Similar to asymmetry, the color may change throughout the mark, with hints of red, pink, white or blue. Even different shades of brown and black might hint that something is amiss.
D stands for Diameter.
Diameter: If the mark in question is larger than ¼ inch across (about the diameter of a pen or pencil), then it’s worth having it looked at.
E stands for Evolving.
Evolving: The mark is changing in shape, color, or size. One way to note this is to take a piece of plastic wrap and trace around the mark. Make sure to add the date and store it in your health files. Measure periodically and check to see if there are any changes.
Remember, just keep an eye out for ABCDE and use this easy method to catch melanoma early. If you find something that doesn’t look quite right, give us a call at 972.984.1050 for a consultation.
Posted in: Skin Cancer