What Does Skin Cancer Look Like: How To Do A Self-Exam

(model) woman looks at mole on back in mirror

When skin cancer is caught early, it is usually highly treatable. One in five Americans is estimated to develop skin cancer in their lifetime, regardless of skin color. For people at a higher risk of skin cancer, self-examinations are especially important, with doctors recommending a self-exam once a month. This blog explains how to examine your skin at home, what to look for, and when to contact your doctor.

How To Do A Skin Cancer Self-Exam

Examine your body in a mirror

Check areas such as your face, neck, chest, and belly. Women should lift their breasts and check the skin beneath. Check both sides of your arms, the tops and palms of your hands, between your fingers, under your fingernails, and underarm areas.

Take a seat

Sit in a chair and look at your legs, between your toes, and at the soles of your feet.

Use a hand mirror

Examine your neck and scalp with a hand mirror, making sure to part your hair for a closer look at your scalp. Also, use the mirror to check your back and buttocks.

What To Look For

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, you should contact your dermatologist if you notice the following issues with moles or spots on your body.

  • One half of the spot is asymmetric and does not look like the other.
  • The border of the spot is scalloped, poorly defined, or irregular.
  • There are varying colors in the spot, such as shades of brown or black and white, red, blue, or tan areas.
  • The spot changes in color, shape, or size, and/or looks different than the rest.
  • If the spot is greater than 6 millimeters.

These are not the only ways for skin cancer to appear. If you have concerns regarding spots or moles, contact your dermatologist. Our dermatology specialists are here to provide you with the quality care your skin needs. Request a consultation or call us at (888) 698-0977 to schedule an appointment.

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