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Know Your ABCs When Inspecting For Skin Cancer

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Protecting your skin from direct exposure to the sun is essential all year round. Some people assume that they can slack on their sun protection routine during the colder months but in reality, ultraviolet rays will also be present as long as you are receiving some sunshine. But since you'll be outside more often, sun protection should be a high priority during the hotter months. In addition to having a skin care routine in place to protect yourself from UV exposure, you should also carry out self-inspections on a regular basis to detect if something is off kilter. A simple way to do this would be to know the ABCs associated with skin cancer.

A is for Asymmetry

Moles and bumps on your skin that are benign will typically be symmetrical in shape. To ascertain this, simply try drawing a line right in the middle of the mole and compare the two sides to see if they are identical. If you find the two parts are asymmetrical, it is a warning sign of a potential melanoma. It is important to see a dermatologist post haste to check whether you should be concerned or not.

B is for borders

The second thing to look out for when carrying out self-inspections is to pay attention to the border of the mole. Just as with its symmetrical shape, benign moles will usually have an evenly shaped border giving it a smooth appearance. Malignant moles, on the other hand, tend to have rough edges that could manifest in an array of ways such as notched, jagged or scalloped.

C is for colouration

Moles will typically have the same complexion as your skin or would have a brownish hue to them. Moreover, if you have multiple benign moles, they will tend to be of the same colouration. Malignant moles, on the other hand, would be characterised by different shades of colour. These colours could range from black, brown, pink, red, blue and more. The variations in colouration are usually due to different types of cancerous cells causing the melanoma. Thus, it would be advisable to seek medical advice at a skin care clinic.

D is for diameter

Benign moles will typically remain the same size throughout their lifetime. Malignant moles, on the other hand, will grow and evolve as cancer cells spread. As a result, you will find that the diameter of your mole may keep changing, which should be a warning sign that you need to see your dermatologist.