Noticing a suspicious mole? Wondering if you should see a dermatologist?
Everyone needs to get to know their skin so that they can spot changes when they occur. By performing monthly self-exams and by turning to our Bethlehem, PA, dermatologists Dr. Joseph Zaladonis, Jr., Dr. Mary Hutchins and Dr. Veronica Rutt once a year for skin cancer screenings, we can help keep you healthy and protected. Of course, you first need to know when a mole might need to be checked out by a skincare professional.
Examine Your Skin Regularly
It’s a good idea to give your skin a thorough examination at least once a month. That way, if there are any changes you’re more likely to catch them right away and visit our Bethlehem, PA, dermatologists for a proper screening and evaluation.
Whenever you’re examining your skin make sure to remove all articles of clothing. Examine all areas of your body, including very discreet areas such as between toes, the scalp, or even under your fingernails. While skin cancer often develops in sun-exposed areas this doesn’t mean that it can’t also develop in more hidden areas, too. Use a hand mirror to help view hard-to-see spots like the scalp.
What to Look For
It’s important to recognize the early warning signs of skin cancer so you can turn to our Bethlehem, PA, dermatologists for a complete evaluation. When it comes to detecting melanoma it’s important to follow the ABCDEs,
- Asymmetry: cancerous growths are often asymmetrical in appearance
- Border: cancerous growths often have a jagged, uneven or poorly defined border
- Color: cancerous growths are typically contained two or more colors
- Diameter: cancerous growths are often more than 6mm in diameter (the size of a pencil eraser)
- Evolving: any mole or growth that changes its appearance over time should be evaluated by a skincare professional
Of course, both melanoma and non-melanoma growths don’t always follow these rules. Other warning signs to look out for include growths that,
- Develop suddenly or later in life
- Itch, bleed, crust over or are painful
- Are red, scaly, lumpy or thickening
- Appear on sun-exposed areas of the body such as the face, ears and neck
If you are noticing any changes in your skin or problematic moles, it’s important that you schedule a skin cancer screening with our Bethlehem, PA, dermatologists at Zaladonis Dermatology Associates. Call us at (610) 868-3150 to book an evaluation.