The best defense against skin cancer is to perform regular skin checks for melanoma. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you check your skin every month. This will help you look for any new spots or changes to existing areas of skin. If you notice anything that doesn’t look normal, make an appointment with your doctor. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Get Your Kids Involved
Do the self-examinations together with your children. This will teach them how important it is to do skin checks for melanoma. By the time they’re in their pre-teens, your kids will be able to check their skin by themselves. It will become as routine as brushing their teeth.
Set an Alert
If you’re not great at remembering to do skin checks for melanoma, put it on your calendar. Set your phone to remind you once a month. Make an appointment with yourself and your family so that you don’t forget.
Make a Map
Keep track of the spots and birthmarks you already have. You can draw them on an outline of a body or take a picture of your entire body and make notes on it. If you notice a new skin growth that’s tan, brown, black, multicolored, translucent or pearlescent, bring it up with your doctor. If a mole, birthmark or lesion has changed in color, texture or outline, point it out to your physician. If you have any sores on your skin that don’t heal within three weeks or continue to bleed, crust over, itch or hurt, bring it to your doctor’s attention.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Take this month to learn more about skin cancer prevention and implement a new routine to help you stay in tune with your body. Schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. Sometimes it can help to confirm that the spots you already have on your skin are ok so that you have a baseline from which to start with your skin checks for melanoma.