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Regular Skin Self-Examinations Could Save Your Life

Posted on June 6, 2018

Woman in Sun with Hat

Summer is a time for fun in the sun! But all that sun can also put you at risk for skin cancer. That’s why it’s important to do regular skin self-examinations. Get to know the pattern of moles, blemishes, freckles, and other marks on your skin.

Remember the ABCDE rules:

  • Asymmetry – One half of the mole does not match the other half.
  • Border irregularity – The edges of the mole are ragged or irregular.
  • Color -The mole has different colors in it. It may be tan, brown, black, red, or other colors. Or it may have areas that seem to have lost color.
  • Diameter – The mole is bigger than 6 millimeters across, about the size of a pencil eraser. But some melanomas can be smaller.
  • Evolving – A mole changes in size, shape, or color.

Other signs and symptoms that may be skin cancer include:

  • A mole or skin mark that itches, or is tender or painful.
  • A mole or skin mark that oozes, bleeds, or becomes crusty.
  • A mole or skin mark that looks different from your other moles or skin marks.
  • A sore that doesn’t heal.
  • A mole or sore that becomes red or swells at its edges or beyond.

If you notice any of these signs during your skin self-examinations, contact your health care provider for a professional skin exam. Need help finding a doctor?
Visit CovenantHealth.com/Physicians or call (865) 541-4500.