Sunscreen should be applied daily
, even on cloudy, rainy, or snowy days. You don't skip sunscreen because of a change in season or weather. It's just as important in the fall and winter as it was during summer. Harmful UV radiation can lead to more than just sunburns, it can lead to skin cancer. If detected early, melanoma is often
curable. Dermatologists recommend doing a complete head-to-toe exam at least
once monthly, in order to identify early warning signs.
When we say a complete, head-to-toe exam, we literally mean head to toe.
That's right, you should be examining every inch of your skin, including any moles, freckles, or brown spots. Don't just look at what you can easily see, check your scalp, the front and back of your ears, under your arms, the underside of your breasts, and your finger and toe nails too! A normal
mole is round
Melanoma does not present itself the same. Melanoma is asymmetrical, with undefined, jagged edges. A single melanoma spot can also range in color from light to dark brown and even black, whereas a mole is consistently one color throughout.
A mole will also tend to be less than 6 mm in size, whereas a melanoma spot is almost always greater than 6 mm in size and can be quite large! A melanoma spot can also increase in size over time, a mole will not do this. With so much on your mind, it is easy to forget what you are looking for. Dermatologists have made it easy to remember by nicknaming this test the ABCDE test: Asymmetry, Borders, Color, Diameter, Evolution.