According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and is estimated to account for 9.6 million death in 2018. Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that can be treated successfully if discovered on time.
This is just one of the reasons why you should perform regular skin check-ups and look for any changes on your skin.
Risk Factors For Melanoma
Risk factors differ from skin type to skin type. Namely, fair skin types are at higher risk of developing melanoma because they have less melanin than darker skin types.
Due to more melanin in their skin, people of colour have innate protection in the skin, but they are also under a certain degree of risk of having melanoma.
The palms of the hands, soles of the feet, toenails and fingernails are lighter in colour than the rest of the skin, which are precisely the areas that people of colour should often check.
When it comes to people with fair skin, those who have numerous moles and freckles have a greater risk of melanoma as well and should perform regular skin check-ups.
Self-Examine Skin Regularly
It’s essential that everyone performs regular skin self-examination because early detection of a malignant mole can lead to a quick and successful recovery. Following the ABCDE rules, you can easily detect any abnormalities on the skin.
A is for asymmetry, which means you should pay attention to the sides of a mole. If it has an asymmetrical or irregular shape, it’s the first sign of warning. B – border check, see if the mole has a ragged or a smooth edge. Any irregularity can pose a threat.
C stands for colour variation, which means you should check if there are white, blue, or red patches anywhere on the mole. D – diameter check, a spot larger than an eraser head of a pencil can be a red flag.
E – if the spot has evolved over time, it means you should definitely see your dermatologist. In case you spot any alerting signs, you should go to a renowned aesthetic clinic and have the problematic or any other mole that causes inconvenience easily removed.
Aside from paying attention to growth and colour, be aware of any itching or bleeding that can also mean you’re dealing with a potential melanoma problem.
Annual Skin Exams With Your Dermatologist
Annual skin exams are as important as your physical exams, so the next time you go to pick up your blood results, make sure you schedule a skin exam with your dermatologist.
A self-exam can help you be aware of any potential problems that a dermatologist will help you understand. They’ll also know how to examine your skin more meticulously, while also performing a biopsy in case they suspect a new spot on the skin may be troublesome.
Men should pay attention to their back, as it is the area where melanoma usually develops in men. Women, on the other hand, should often check the skin on their lower legs. However, melanoma can develop in any area including the mouth, eyes and genitals.
That’s why you should also have regular check-ups with the dentist, ophthalmologist and gynaecologist too.
Skin cancers are best treated if detected on time, which is why you should do your best to perform self-examinations of your skin regularly and look for any abnormalities.
Should you notice that any of your birthmarks, moles or other spots have grown over time or look asymmetrical, be sure to visit your dermatologist and have them check your skin in detail.
The sooner they detect the problem, the more chances of recovery and healing you’ll have. Don’t risk developing skin cancer just because you couldn’t care less about making time to self-examine your skin.
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Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to health and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.