Did you know that skin cancer can take shape in moles on your body? Here are some common skin cancer warning signs you need to know about.
When checking for cancerous moles, the first thing to be on the lookout for is asymmetry. Healthy moles are typically symmetrical, whether oblong or circular. While your moles may not be perfectly symmetrical, any glaring abnormalities should be noted immediately. If you notice a mole on your skin that looks uneven or one half doesn't resemble the other at all, you could be looking at one of the early signs of skin cancer. This is also a sign that you need to see a dermatologist for a mole examination.
Most healthy moles will have a clearly defined, smooth border. When you undergo a skin cancer screening, this is one of the key factors that your doctor will look at to determine whether a mole is cancerous or not. Moles that are cancerous, or melanomas, typically have a blurred border around one section or the entire mole. In addition, it's possible that cancerous moles will have raised or bumpy edges. When in doubt, your sense of touch can alert you to any irregularities.
One of the very first signs of a cancerous mole is a noticeable change in color. Keep in mind that moles may vary in color depending on your skin tone. It's typically a good idea to compare one mole to the rest of them on your body. If they look similar, then you may not have to worry. If, on the other hand, one of your moles varies drastically in color from the others on your skin, it could be time to talk to your doctor about a skin cancer screening. In addition, keep an eye out for moles that are inconsistent in color, or more than one color at the same time.
Under most normal circumstances, healthy moles won't grow any larger than about 6mm in diameter. A mole that's larger than that or that has been growing in size could be an early sign of skin cancer. There are exceptions to this rule, and they come in the form of congenital moles. While these large moles are generally benign, they can be at risk for developing into melanoma. If you have a congenital mole and notice changes in size, shape, or color, it may be time to talk with your doctor about skin cancer treatment.
When a mole is considered "evolving," it means that the mole has developed a new inconsistency or symptom. Some of the most common mole evolutions to watch out for include scabbing, bleeding, and itching. These three symptoms can be indicative of skin cancer. In addition, any inconsistencies within a mole should be noted. Changes such as an increase in height or a shifting skin texture on the mole should be looked at right away.
Knowing the early signs of skin cancer in moles can help you stay proactive and get the right treatment if you need it. If you have questions or want to set up a skin cancer screening, contact SE Dermatology Specialists today.