With millions of new skin cancer cases diagnosed every year and continual sun exposure being its most common cause, it’s understandable for concerns to arise among residents. Skin checks by a Board Certified dermatologist like Dr. Perri are the best way to make sure you have no reason for concern if you discover an abnormal spot on your skin. There are, however, a number of indicators you can look for at home to help you better understand what you’re dealing with.
Self-Check: Signs to Watch For
Dr. Perri encourages his patients to perform regular self-checks to aid in the early detection of problems. Since you can’t see the dermatologist every day, you are your own first line of defense against harmful skin conditions, but what do you look for? On a broad scale, when you examine your skin, look for change of any kind from the last time you checked. Because skin cancers and other disorders involve growth of lesions, bumps, and the like, when things are changing, it may be a sign that something is awry. With moles, birthmarks, beauty marks, or brown spots in particular, be aware of:
- Changes in color
- Changes in texture
- Increases in size or thickness
- Irregularity in outline
- Size over ¼”, the size of a pencil eraser
- Appearance after the age of 21
Other warning signs to watch for include:
- Spots or sores that continue to itch, hurt, crust, bleed, scab, or erode
- Open sores that don’t heal within three weeks
- Pearly, tan, brown, black, translucent, or multicolored growths that increase in size
Don’t Assume It Will “Be OK”
Many who discover these things don’t want to believe there is actually a problem. After all “it doesn’t hurt” and “it doesn’t sound exactly like what was described.” Often, skin cancers don’t cause pain at first, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t cause for concern. If you notice any of the above signs, contact Dr. Perri right away for an appointment. A thorough professional skin check is the only way to rule out harmful conditions, and even if you don’t end up having any issues, the peace of mind of knowing for certain is much better than having to wonder.
Think you might need a skin check? Dr. Perri can examine any warning signs quickly with times to fit your schedule. Call today for your appointment.