Nowadays, we all know the dangers of skin cancer. Even 20 years ago, society was still pretty in denial about how dangerous sunbathing and tanning can be, but things have certainly changed since. After countless health campaigns, it’s now common knowledge to always wear sunscreen (yes, even in the winter), ditch tanning bed, and always check yourself for suspicious spots.
Seeing a mole or a spot on your skin can be pretty terrifying because our minds tend to jump to the worse possible option. Of course, that is not always the case, but it’s still a scary notion.
According to Higher Perspective:
“Skin cancer is a common form of cancer in the US, with nearly 5 million people treated for it every year. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer diagnosed than instances of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives. Knowing the signs of skin cancer is what could mean the difference between life and death.”
If you have a spot that troubling you on your skin, you shouldn’t hesitate to see a physician. However, it’s good to have an idea of what could be considered “troubling”; knowing what melanoma looks like could help save your life.
The best way to stay ahead of skin diseases is to constantly check yourself, from head to toe. Keep an eye on the state of your skin and if you see a spot or mole, make sure to watch how it changes, if it changes at all.
How can you tell if the mole is changing in a dangerous way? Well, the chart above is the best at-home method: it’s called the ABCDE’s. Here’s what this handy at-home method means:
A – Asymmetry
Is your mole even or is one side larger (or blotchier) than the other? A healthy mole should be symmetrical.
B – Border
Does your mole have a strong, even border all the way around or does it have an uneven, wavy border? A healthy mole should have an even, round border.
C – Color
Is your mole a dark brown or a strange color? A healthy mole should be a dark brown or black, not green or pink.
D – Diameter
Is your mole smaller or larger than the eraser on a number two pencil? A healthy mole should be smaller than an eraser, or 6 mm.
If there is ANY growth or change to your mole, it could be dangerous and should be looked at by a doctor ASAP.
Make sure to check the ABCDE’s chart above for some visual examples of each step. And, as always, never hesitate to bring any concerning spot to your doctor or dermatologist.