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When thinking about skin goals, we usually think of having a consistent skin regimen, getting facial treatments and striving for perfect pores and flawless skin. However, what we might not be thinking about could lead us to missing the most important step of all: getting annual skin checks from your dermatologist.
This might not sound fun or glamorous but having a yearly skin check with your dermatologist is incredibly important for your skin and your health.
Over 5 million skin cancer cases are diagnosed each year making it the most common form of cancer. Fortunately, it is also the most preventable and treatable form of cancer. However, this takes effort and commitment on your part. Being as the month of May is National Melanoma Awareness Month, we wanted to share with our #Emmebabe community the importance of being steadfast in your skin check routines.
Aside from visiting your dermatologist yearly (or whatever is recommended by your doctor) to have you skin checked, there are other steps you can take to help detect possible skin cancer.
It’s critical that you start getting familiar with your skin and your moles! Similarly, to your monthly self-breast exam, checking your skin on a regular basis can help early detection of skin cancer (although this does not replace having a medical professional check the skin).
When you perform your self exam, you want to look for anything that looks new, changed or seems unusual.
Here’s what I mean…...
If you see a new mole on your skin that wasn’t there before, make a mental note of it and be sure to share with your dermatologist. If it doesn’t go away in a couple of weeks or it starts to grow in size, be sure to see your dermatologist right away.
If there is a growth on the skin that has increased in size or thickness or has changed in color shape or texture, it could be a warning sign and you should contact your dermatologist immediately.
If you notice a spot on your skin and think to yourself “what’s that?”, it could be an indication that you are detecting something unusual on your skin. If you see a spot or a mole that looks different from the rest (perhaps it bleeds, hurts to the touch, itches, forms a crust or does seem to want to heal) go get it checked right away!
In short, your eyes are very powerful in helping to detect skin cancer, so be sure to keep your moles in check! The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you do a head-to-toe self-examination every month and see your dermatologist at least once a year for a full-body skin exam.