Did you know that according the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer, making it the most common form of Cancer in the United States? Luckily, you can protect yourself from this all-too-common, deadly disease by performing regular checks on your skin. Here are just a few things dermatologists recommend you look for.
Examining your face. – The first place your check should start is in the mirror. Look at your face, particularly the area around your nose, lips, mouth, and ears. Then, inspect your scalp, using a blow dryer and mirror to get each section exposed.
Checking your upper body. – If you don’t notice any unusual marks, move down to your upper body. Check over your hands — the palms, the backs, between the fingers, and even under the fingernails. You can never be too cautious. Then, look at your elbows in the mirror, and scan each and every side of your upper arms without forgetting the underarms. Then, check your neck, chest, and torso for anything unusual. Women need to lift their breasts to also check the underside.
Looking at the rest of your body. – Now comes the hard part. Use hand mirrors and a full-length mirror to check the back of your neck, shoulders, upper back, and any part of your arms that you didn’t already look over. Then, scan your lower back, buttocks, and the back of your legs. Once you’ve taken care of that, check over the rest of your legs, including your ankles, tops of your feet, between your toes, under the toenails, soles, and heels.
Of course, the only way to know — for example — if your mole is benign is to schedule an appointment at a dermatology clinic so that an expert can take a look. So if you’re still unsure, go see a dermatologist. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you have any questions about skin cancer, atypical moles, benign moles, or anything else, feel free to share in the comments.