When you think of health and wellness, skin checks may not be the first thing that comes to mind. In reality, regular skin checks are just as crucial to your health as working out and eating right.
Here are a few simple wellness tips to add to your routine:
Perform monthly self-examinations of your skin. Just stand in front of a full-length mirror and check for any moles, growths, or lesions on your skin. Note their size and location, and check back each month to ensure they haven’t grown or changed shape. Don’t forget your scalp, feet, and nails. Ask a partner to help check your back, the most common place for melanoma. If you notice any changes, make an appointment with your dermatologist for a professional evaluation.
Know what to look for:
The skin cancer foundation provides a handy memory tool for the warning signs of melanoma: ABCDE.
Asymmetrical moles are more likely to be cancerous than symmetrical ones.
Borders of melanoma spots tend to be patchy and uneven, similar to an ink blot. Benign moles are more even and round.
Colorful moles (i.e., a single mole that is more than one color) are indicative of cancer.
Diameter is also a sign; the larger the spot’s diameter, the more likely it is to be cancerous.
Evolving moles are a cause for concern. Moles that stay the same over time are usually harmless.
Schedule annual skin exams with your dermatologist:
The next time you change your batteries in your smoke detector think about calling your dermatologist that day to schedule your yearly skin exam. Make sure you remove any nail polish and wear hair loose to allow full access to your scalp. While you are there, ask your dermatologist for tips on self-checks to help keep an eye on any potential trouble areas.
And remember, daily use of sunscreen is critical to long-term skin health. Apply your Brush On Block® SPF 30 every morning, even during the winter and reapply often.