Preventing skin cancer with a head-to-toe skin examination

Ignoring irregular developments on your skin is the biggest and worst mistake you can commit. This ignorance gives small harmless skin changes an opportunity to transform into fatal cancerous growths. People can stop it if they pay attention and show concern to their skin. This is why self-assessment of skin at least a month is of crucial importance.

Why head-to-toe skin examination is important

doctor examining woman skin for melanoma

To go by the Skin Cancer Foundation’s recommendation, a monthly head-to-toe skin self-examination is must for everybody. Doing this one can trace out the skin changes, including new and changing lesions, which might be precancerous or cancerous. On the other hand, if you do not examine your skin, those growths go unnoticed for a long time, and they become fatal.

The most common type of all cancers is the skin cancer because many people fail to realize the changes in their skin. Skin cancer is the most treatable of all only if one recognizes it in the early stages, and for that, a head-to-toe examination is must.

You must learn what all skin changes are normal and what not, so that while examining yourself, you can make out whether you need professional assistance or not. If you figure out any such change, do not allow it to progress, rather take steps to stop it right there.

The “ABCDE Rule”

Dermatologist examines patient birthmark with dermatoscope

To help you differentiate the odd-looking spots from the normal ones on your skin, dermatologists recommend following the “ABCDE Rule.” According to this rule, you must make note of moles that are Asymmetrical, have irregular Borders, have more than one Color, whose Diameter is greater than pencil eraser’s size, and that Evolve or keep changing with time. This rule makes the task so easier. You can easily make out that a mole is dangerous if it has these features in it, and then you can head for a professional assistance.

Three main types of skin cancer

Dermatologist examines a mole

You should know about all the three types, so that you could differentiate between them. Besides, knowing them will help you understand the early warning signs and preventing it from growing any further. These growths are usually painless but downright dangerous, so seek doctor’s help right away.

Melanoma

expose to sun (1)

The most deadly of all three forms of skin cancer is Melanoma. You leave it untreated, and it continues to spread in other parts of the body. It appears as a new, color and size changing spot on an existing spot. Nodular Melanoma grows quickly and looks different from Melanomas. It is a raised appearance that is firm to touch and is even in color such as pink, brown or black, and they bleed.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

expose to sun (2)

This is the least dangerous and the most common form of skin cancer. It appears as a dry scaly area, or a pale colored dry lump of skin. It grows slowly on area you often expose to sun and sometimes they ulcerate and fail to heal.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

allergic rash dermatitis skin

 

Found more likely in people who are 50 years of age or more, this type grows slowly on the areas often exposed to the sun. It looks like a thick, red scaly spot that bleeds easily, and that crust or ulcerate.

In order to trace skin cancer signs and growths, you need to examine your body thoroughly. You need to stand in front of a large mirror under bright light, and inspect every part and corner of your body, including your scalp.

Skin cancer is very common and is highly treatable as well. One needs to examine skin often so one could trace skin changes and seek medical help on time.

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