Your skin is your largest organ — it covers an average of 22 square feet — and shields you against the hazards around you. Evidence of this protective role continually mounts over the course of your life, typically in the form of scars, rashes, discolorations, and lesions. As the new additions to your skin increase, you wonder whether any are cause for concern.
If you consider that one in five people in the United States will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, you’re right to be concerned about moles and lesions that develop for no apparent reason.
To help you determine whether you can benefit from a closer look by one of the dermatology experts here at Z-Roc Dermatology — Dr. Matthew Zarraga and Dr. Khongruk Wongkittiroch — here are some points to consider.
The ABCs of moles
Most everyone has between 10 and 40 moles on their body as they’re the most common type of skin growth. Also called nevi, moles are formed by clusters of cells that are responsible for pigment. Moles can range in size, but most are less than one-quarter inch. Also, the color of your moles can be varied — from pink on down the spectrum to dark brown.
In a majority of cases, most moles are perfectly harmless. That said, some moles can be a sign of skin cancer, especially if they have one or more of these characteristics:
- A — the mole is asymmetrical (one half isn’t the same shape as the other)
- B — the mole has an irregular border
- C — the mole changes color or features different colors within the same mole
- D — the diameter of the mole is more than ¼-inch
- E — the mole evolves in size, shape, or color
If you have a mole that displays any of the characteristics above, it’s important that you come see us so that we can evaluate the lesion.
Outside of problematic moles, you should also pay close attention to any changes or lesions on your skin that:
- Don’t heal
- Become scaly and itchy
- Look like warts
Skin cancer doesn’t always present itself in the form of a mole; if you have a lesion or sore that doesn’t heal, something is amiss and warrants a closer examination.
Why regular skin screenings are important
Spotting an abnormal mole on your arm is relatively easy, but many moles are hidden from plain sight. Cancerous moles can develop in areas you may not notice, such as on your scalp or on the bottoms of your feet.
This is one reason why it’s important that you see us regularly for skin screenings, as we know where to look and what to look for when it comes to problematic lesions.
Another compelling reason for regular a skin check is that skin cancer is a highly treatable disease, especially if we can intervene early. Through regular skin checks, we can stay one step ahead of skin cancer.
If you’re concerned about a mole or lesion or you’d like to schedule a skin cancer screening, contact our office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to set up a consultation.