February 8, 2024
Check Your Moles Using the ABCDE Method
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Your skin is your largest organ and vulnerable to damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Monitoring moles helps you detect skin cancer and get it treated early, when it’s most likely resolvable. Here’s how to use the simple ABCDE method.

Doctors diagnose as many as 5.4 million basal and squamous cell skin cancer cases each year. More than 97,000 cases of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, will also be diagnosed in a year.

Moles can give a clue about your skin’s health, and changes in them are an early warning sign that you have skin cancer. Most moles are harmless and normal, but by using the ABCDE method, you can identify changes that warrant a visit to Twin Falls Dermatology & Aesthetics, LLC.

Here’s what our provider, Laurel Krupski, wants you to know about the ABCDE process.

Learn the ABCDE method of detection

The ABCDE method was developed to help you remember what characteristics to examine when looking at your body’s moles. Each letter in ABCDE corresponds to distinct changes or characteristics commonly linked to melanoma.

A is for Asymmetry

Healthy moles are generally symmetrical, meaning one half mirrors the other. Asymmetry could be a red flag for irregular growth or changes beneath the surface.

B is for irregular Borders

A mole with a well-defined border is usually considered normal. However, blurred or irregular borders might indicate potential issues.

C is for Color

While moles can come in various colors, a sudden change in color or the presence of multiple colors within a single mole could be cause for concern. Laurel can help determine whether your mole’s colors are within the normal range.

D is for Diameter

Generally, moles that are smaller than the size of a pencil eraser (about 6mm in diameter) are less likely to be problematic. Keep an eye on any moles that exceed this size or grow rapidly. Changes in a mole’s size could indicate skin cancer.

E is for Evolution

Monitor any changes in your mole over time. Any alterations in size, shape, color, or symptoms like itching or bleeding mean you should head to Twin Falls Dermatology & Aesthetics, LLC for an exam.

Use ABCDE regularly

Do regular skin checks to catch potential issues early. Checking your body all over about once per month is a good cadence. If you notice anything unusual, make an appointment with Laurel so she can take any necessary steps to get you a definitive diagnosis and early treatment, including mole removal.

Schedule a yearly dermatology exam

While self-examinations are valuable, schedule a yearly skin check with Laurel as an extra layer of assurance. She has the expertise to identify subtle changes that might go unnoticed during self-checks. These professional skin screenings are especially important if you have a personal or family history of skin cancer or have had experienced prolonged sun exposure.

Stay sun safe

In addition to checking your skin, protect yourself when you’re out in the sun. Use sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during peak sunlight hours.

These practices not only help prevent the development of new moles but also contribute to overall skin health, as the sun can accelerate the development of lines and wrinkles.

Remember, early detection of skin cancer is the key to effective treatment. Use the ABCDE method to help you stay vigilant when it comes to your skin’s health. Call or click to make an appointment at Twin Falls Dermatology & Aesthetics, LLC in Twin Falls, Idaho.

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