Important information on the health of your skin from Velocity Care
Moles are normal, pigmented groups of cells that form together to make a small, round area of skin. Moles are usually soft to the touch, can be slightly raised and can range from light brown to almost black in color. Moles usually appear in childhood and can darken due to sun exposure in adolescence or during pregnancy.
When should I worry about my mole?
Most people have moles somewhere on their bodies and the majority of moles are completely normal and safe. Sometimes, however, certain moles can be an indication of skin cancer, so it is important to know what to look for and to notice any changes in the appearance of your skin.
The easiest way to remember what to look for when determining whether your moles are healthy is to think of the alphabet. The ABCDEs of mole health is an easy method to use when checking your moles:
- A - Asymmetry: Does your mole look the same on both sides? A healthy mole will be completely symmetrical, with both sides being almost a mirror image of each other.
- B - Border: Is the border of your mole smooth or jagged? A healthy mole will have a clean, smooth border while a cancerous growth may be uneven, jagged or scalloped around the edges.
- C - Color: Is your mole one solid color? A benign mole will be one shade of brown throughout. Any mole that contains multiple shades or has different colors such as blue, red, white or pink should be checked by a doctor.
- D - Diameter: A normal mole should be smaller in size than the diameter of a pencil. Anything larger than this should be brought to the attention of a doctor.
- E - Evolving: Is your mole changing and evolving? If a mole has changed color, size or shape it could be an indication of skin cancer. Any of these changes or any new growths or new symptoms like itching, bleeding or scabbing should be reported to a doctor immediately.
How can I check my moles?
You should inspect your body every month to determine if there are changes to your skin or if any new moles have appeared. To do this, remove all of your clothing and stand in front of a large mirror. Inspect all areas of your skin and look for the ABCDEs, as mentioned above. Make sure to check your back, the back of your neck, the bottoms of your feet, in between your toes and fingers, the palms of your hands and even your scalp. Taking pictures can also help you identify any changes by comparing them from month to month. If you do notice anything that looks suspicious or if a mole is evolving or changing, it is important to have it checked by a doctor.
Inspecting your skin often is one easy way to help prevent skin cancer and to detect any changes early on before a situation has progressed. If you have questions or concerns about the health of your skin or detect suspicious moles, it is important to see a physician as soon as possible. Velocity Care’s team of professionals is here to assist you with all of your health care needs and is happy to answer any of the questions that you may have. For a list of services provided or to find a walk-in clinic near you, visit www.velocitycare.com today.
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