It is incredibly important to visit your dermatologist every year for an annual skin screening. Only your doctor can properly evaluate your moles and skin imperfections and eliminate the possibility of a cancer diagnosis. However, it is equally as important for you to pay close attention to your skin in between those visits. Skin cancer, when detected early is one of the most curable forms of cancer.
Twenty percent of Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives, by evaluating your skin carefully throughout the year you heighten your chances for early detection.
The following skin characteristics should be carefully observed and evaluated annually:
Dark moles. Be sure to check your hairline, scalp and other typically hidden areas like the bottoms of your feet.
Clear, dome shaped skin growths that appear similar to blisters but do not go away with treatment or time. These can also reoccur in the same location and enlarge over time.
Itching or bleeding moles and dark spots on the skin.
Dark streaks and spots underneath your finger or toenails.
Scaly red skin patches that have not been diagnosed as another dermatological condition.
Dark moles and sunspots are commonly observed by patients at home as potential skin cancer. If you have moles that you’re keeping an eye on, be sure to watch for any changes in your moles. Potential changes to be concerned about include sudden changes in color, shape, or size – especially the development of irregular borders.
Contact Dr. George Hruza right away if you have noticed any significant change in the appearance of your freckles, moles or sunspots.