In addition to regular exams by your dermatologist, skin cancer self-checks should be a key part of your health regimen. Because skin cancer treatments are much more effective when the cancer is diagnosed early, self-checks could be life saving. Your dermatologist can show you how to do an effective self-check at home and tell you about some of the changes that could indicate cancer. When you do your skin self-check, be sure to pay close attention to these areas of your body.
Your face is constantly exposed to the elements, so it’s not surprising that it is a common location for skin cancer to develop. Inspect your face closely for red or white spots that are new and don’t go away, brown spots, and patches of scaly skin. If you have moles on your face, any changes to their color, shape, or size could suggest skin cancer. If any of these changes occur, let your dermatologist examine the area and decide if you need further testing.
Many of the skin cancers that occur on the face are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, which are the easiest kinds of skin cancer to treat. Melanoma is more common on the legs. Women in particular are vulnerable to developing melanoma on the legs, so pay close attention to that any changes on your skin. Don’t forget to check the backs of your legs and to also inspect your feet and ankles.
Most people recognize changes that occur in the skin on the backs of their hands, but few take the time to closely inspect their palms. The palms are another area prone to melanomas, and they are easily overlooked because most people don’t pay much attention the skin in this area. For African-Americans, half of all cases of melanoma start on the palms.
The sooner skin cancer treatment begins, the more effective it is, so make self-checks plus examines with your dermatologist at Arlington Dermatology part of your routine. Learn more about skin cancer treatments in Arlington Heights by calling 847-392-5440