Find out what to be on the lookout for when it comes to change in your skin.
Skin cancer can happen to anyone. If you are someone who has had bad sunburns in the past, if you have a family history of skin cancer or if you have a lot of freckles then you may be concerned about the health of your skin. Our Chicago dermatologist, Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach, is here to tell you what you should be looking out for when it comes to suspicious moles and how to protect your skin.
Here’s what should tip you off that something is wrong with a mole and that you need to visit our Chicago skin doctor right away:
- A mole that bleeds or is red and irritated
- Moles that are larger than a pencil eraser
- Moles that do not have clear, defined borders
- Moles that contain multiple colors
- Moles that are painful or itchy
One of the best rules of thumb for detecting skin cancer is to look at your moles and perform a thorough evaluation. You should do this at least once a month to make sure that if there are any changes that you are able to catch them right away and get the issue checked out before it becomes serious. And, if all else fails, remember your ABCDs…
- A: Asymmetry—Healthy moles will be completely even and symmetrical on all sides
- B: Border—Healthy moles will have a clearly defined and even border
- C: Color—Healthy moles won’t change colors or contain more than one color
- D: Diameter—Healthy moles tend to be rather small while melanoma is often much larger
- E: Elevated—Healthy moles aren’t typically raised
How to Protect Your Skin
One of the best things you can do to protect the health of your skin is to apply sunscreen every day about 20 minutes before going outside. Opt for a sunscreen that will protect against both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of at least 15 or higher. Make sure that you reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. If you aren’t sure which kind of sunscreen is right for you or you have questions about how to properly apply it then don’t hesitate to ask us. We are here to protect your skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays.
If you noticing any changes in your skin that have you concerned then it’s time you turned to North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL to get a full skin cancer evaluation. Don’t ignore the health of your skin. This simple evaluation could just end up saving your life.