Check your moles

Moles are extremely common on almost everyone and most of them are perfectly normal and healthy. There are certain moles and skin changes that you should look for and seek a doctor’s opinion if you discover them anywhere on your body. Early detection is very important. The “ABCDE Rule” can be helpful in determining whether a mole needs to be checked out by a doctor. Asymmetry: When the shape of the mole is irregular or if one side is shaped completely different from the other side. Border: When the outside edges of the mole are blurred, notched, or ragged. Color: When the color of the mole is uneven or inconsistent. When shades of tan, brown, and black are present, or areas of red, gray, white, or blue. Diameter: When the diameter of the mole is larger than a standard pencil eraser or when a mole grows in size. Evolving: When a new mole grows on an area of skin that previously did not have a mole. When a mole changes in color, shape, size, or appearance, and becomes lumpy, hard, scaly, red, or itchy. A normal mole will typically be all one color, have a smooth border, have a distinct separation between the mole and the skin, and have a smooth texture. It is important to be aware of all of your moles and check them regularly. It is also important to routinely check yourself for new moles and monitor their growth and appearance. Early detection is key when it comes to treating melanoma, an extremely aggressive type of skin cancer. Performing monthly self-exams can help identify an irregular mole so a doctor can examine it and treat it quickly in the event it is melanoma. Early detection is critical.

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