girl in knitted sweater dreams with a cup of hot coffee

E is for Evolution

Even though we are in the middle of winter, I am already thinking about summer and being warmer. But before we get there, we are stuck bundled up waiting for the longer days. During winter most of us cover up and forget about checking our skin. Although you may have practiced sun safety all summer, it’s important to continue being vigilant about your skin during the colder months. Once a month, everyone should look at their skin from head-to-toe looking for any suspicious lesions. Self-exams can help you identify potential skin cancers early, when they can almost always be completely cured.

For a successful self-exam, you need to know what you’re looking for.  As a general rule, to spot either melanomas or non-melanoma skin cancers (such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma), take note of any new growths or brown spots. Or any existing growths that begin to grow or change significantly in any other way.  Lesions that change, itch, bleed, or don’t heal are concerning and should prompt a call to the dermatologist.

The best way to prevent melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is to catch it early, before it can become a problem. The ABCD’s of skin lesions are important to remember (A= Asymmetry, B= Border irregularity, C= colors, D= Diameter greater than 6mm) But the most important letter is E. E is for Evolution and that means change. Anything that is changing for any reason must be evaluated by a dermatologist.

Don’t forget even in winter you can prevent skin cancer by looking at your skin.