Are you worried about a particular mole on your body? Does it seem to look different every time you check on it? Do not fear. This blog is going to take you back to your ABC’s when it comes to identifying a suspicious mole. We will also touch a little on why summer skin care is so important, along with skin checks. Let’s get started!
The Harmful Side of the Sun
Trips to the beach, poolside cabanas, and other outdoor adventures aren’t the only things that the summer sun brings. There are some negative impacts that happen when you are outdoors a lot more. In particular, we are referring to the sun’s rays. UVA and UVB rays not only age the skin prematurely, but also increase your risk for skin cancer.
The Upside of a Little Prevention
Here is where a little preventative measure goes a long way. You can reduce the sun’s harmful effects by:
- Avoid being out in the sun between peak UVA/UVB ray hours of 10am-4pm.
- Use a broad-spectrum sunblock with SPF 30 or higher (following application directions, and reapplying as required).
- Wear protective clothing while in the sun.
In conjunction with your preventative measures, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a monthly head to toe self-check of your skin. For step-by-step instructions, click on this link. By getting yourself into a monthly rhythm, if something does come up that is concerning, you can catch it early and talk with your dermatologist immediately.
To make sure you are not in your dermatologist’s office every month with false alarms, you can follow the ABCDE guide for when you are doing your monthly skin checks to recognize anything suspicious.
Causes for Concern: Simple as ABCDE:
- Asymmetry- One half of the mole does not match the other.
- Border- Border is irregular.
- Color- Color varies in the mole.
- Diameter- Greater than 6mm (about the size of a pencil eraser)
- Evolving- Changes in size, shape, elevation of mole.
If your skin checks follow any of the patterns above, or even if you are not sure, talk to your dermatologist immediately.
Alamo Heights Dermatology has a wide range of preventative and cosmetic services available for all your skin care needs. If you are interested in learning more about the services we offer, or you are looking for the best dermatology services in San Antonio, click HERE to learn more.