Posts for tag: Moles
Properly caring for your skin can help you ensure that your complexion remains youthful and free from unwanted lines and wrinkles. Aside from aesthetic value, proper skin care habits, such as wearing sunscreen daily, also helps prevent skin cancer. Learn more about skin cancer prevention and spotting its presence early with your dermatologist, Dr. Jan DeBlieck, at DeBlieck Dermatology in Boise, ID.
What can I do to prevent skin cancer?
Keeping the sun’s harmful UV rays off your skin is the key to preventing skin cancer. Since this is not always an easy task, there are some measures your dermatologist may recommend you take to ensure that you protect your skin — even while soaking up the sun:
- Always apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to exposed skin
- Reapply your sunscreen every two hours and/or after swimming
- Wear tightly-knit clothing over exposed areas of the skin
- Seek shade during the hottest parts of the day
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat
- Perform regular skin examinations
Spotting Skin Cancer Early
Keep the American Cancer Society’s ABCDE's of spotting skin cancer in mind when performing skin examinations:
A normal mole should be symmetrical in shape with smooth borders and one solid color. Moles should be no bigger than about 6 millimeters, or about the size of a pencil eraser. Additionally, moles should not evolve quickly. If a mole were to change shape or color, it should do so over a long period of time.
Skin Cancer Prevention in Boise, ID
Taking measures to prevent skin cancer can greatly reduce your risk of developing this disease. The American Cancer Association recommends wearing an SPF of at least 30 — which protects against about 97% of the sun’s rays — on exposed areas of the skin. Using a higher sun protection factor, such as SPF 100, filters out about 99% of the sun’s rays.
For more information on skin cancer, preventing it from occurring, and its early detection, please contact Dr. Jan DeBlieck at DeBlieck Dermatology in Boise, ID. Call (208) 939-5030 to schedule your appointment with your dermatologist today!
Although moles are usually harmless, in some cases they can become cancerous, causing melanoma. For this reason, it is important to regularly examine your skin for any moles that change in size, color, shape, sensation or that bleed. Suspicious or abnormal moles or lesions should always be examined by your dermatologist.
What to Look For
Remember the ABCDE's of melanoma when examining your moles. If your mole fits any of these criteria, you should visit your dermatologist as soon as possible.
- Asymmetry. One half of the mole does not match the other half.
- Border. The border or edges of the mole are poorly defined or irregular.
- Color. The color of the mole is not the same throughout or has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white or red.
- Diameter. The diameter of a mole is larger than the eraser of a pencil.
- Evolution. The mole is changing in size, shape or color.
Moles can appear anywhere on the skin, including the scalp, between the fingers and toes, on the soles of the feet and even under the nails. The best way to detect skin cancer in its earliest, most curable stage is by checking your skin regularly and visiting our office for a full-body skin cancer screening. Use this guide to perform a self-exam.
- Use a mirror to examine your entire body, starting at your head and working your way to the toes. Also be sure to check difficult to see areas, including between your fingers and toes, the groin, the soles of your feet and the backs of your knees.
- Pay special attention to the areas exposed to the most sun.
- Don't forget to check your scalp and neck for moles. Use a handheld mirror or ask a family member to help you.
- Develop a mental note or keep a record of all the moles on your body and what they look like. If they do change in any way (color, shape, size, border, etc.), or if any new moles look suspicious, visit your dermatologist right away.
Skin cancer has a high cure rate if detected and treated early. The most common warning sign is a visible change on the skin, a new growth, or a change in an existing mole. Depending on the size and location of the mole, dermatologists may use different methods of mole removal. A body check performed by a dermatologist can help determine whether the moles appearing on the body are pre-cancerous or harmless.