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How to Perform a Skin Cancer Self-Exam

January 26, 2018

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, adults should thoroughly examine their skin on a monthly basis for signs of skin cancer, as well as visit a dermatologist for an annual professional skin exam.

If you’ve never conducted a skin cancer self-exam before, now is the best time to start. Here are some tips to help you get started.

How to Exam Your Skin for Cancer

  1. Find a room with good lighting.
  2. Use a full-length mirror and a hand mirror or cell phone to help you view the hard-to-see spots on your back.
  3. To check your scalp, use a hair dryer to push the hair out of the way, or wait until after a shower and use a comb to part your hair.
  4. Unsure about a particular spot? Ask a trusted friend or family member to look with you.
  5. When examining your skin, keep a look out for any new moles, moles that are changing, moles with irregular or jagged edges, or any growths that bleed, scab, and don’t heal over the course of a few weeks.
  6. If you see something that concerns you, don’t wait. Contact a dermatologist for an appointment right away. With skin cancer, the sooner a diagnosis is confirmed, the better.

If you have a history of skin cancer, a lot of moles, or a family history of skin cancer, its recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation to perform a self-examination more often than once a month.

One tool that can make keeping track of your moles easier is a mobile “diagnostic” app. You can store photos of your skin in this app and keep track of specific spots, which will make it easier to notice any changes over time. You can also compare photos of your skin to photos of confirmed cases of skin cancer. These apps should not be used to self-diagnose, but they are useful for creating a record. If you notice anything irregular, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist.

In combination with a solid sun protection regimen, monthly skin cancer self-exams allow you to be confident you’re doing your best to protect yourself from the most common type of cancer.

Have any questions about the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer with the SRT-100™? Contact Sensus Healthcare today.