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Do You Know Your ABCD’s? Important Skin Cancer Signs to Look Out For

Sep 11, 2011

Early detection of skin cancer is absolutely vital—the earlier treatment begins, the better your prognosis. While you should visit your dermatologist yearly for a skin cancer check, you should also keep an eye on your skin at home. Here are some important skin cancer signs to look out for. Remember, it all starts with your ABCD’s!

  • Asymmetry

If one side of a mole or spot is different from the other, it may be precancerous. Normal moles are symmetrical—the same all the way around. But, moles that could be cancerous are irregular in shape, size, color, or texture.

  • Borders

If you spot a mole that has a jagged or uneven border, you should head to your dermatologist’s office right away. Even blurry borders could be a sign of a problem and potentially, even skin cancer. Moles that are not cancerous have smooth borders that don’t look ragged or irregular.

  • Color

Moles that are the same color throughout are probably not indicative of skin cancer. But if your mole has different colors in it, especially black, or if there are different shades of brown or tan, you should call your dermatologist and schedule an appointment.

  • Diameter

Large moles or spots on your skin could be a sign of skin cancer. Any mole larger than about 6 millimeters should be evaluated for possible skin cancer. Your index finger is about 10 millimeters across, so any mole more than half the size of your first finger should be checked out at your dermatology care center.

Treating skin cancer as early as possible is crucial to survival, which is why you should make appointments with your dermatologist a priority. At Arlington Dermatology, we offer skin cancer treatments as well as acne treatments. Call 847-392-5440 to book your appointment.

skin cancer biopsy