Our best defense against skin cancer is being aware about the different methods on how we can protect our skin against this disease and religiously following these skin protection methods. Aside from religious skin protection practices, we should also start examining our skin and be mindful of any change. This is one way to detect skin cancer early.
Early detection of skin cancer generally leads to a good prognosis. By performing self-checks on your skin on a regular basis, you would learn what is normal and not normal for you.
- The most ideal time to look your skin over and give it a thorough check is after you have taken a shower or bath.
- You should do your regular self- checks in a room with plenty of light. You should also use a full length-mirror and a hand held mirror in doing so.
- Immediately schedule an appointment with your doctor should you find anything unusual.
Checking for Skin Cancer
You should perform a head to toe check. Here’s how you should go about the self-examination of the skin.
- With the help of a mirror, look at your face, neck, ears and scalp closely. You can also use a comb or a blow dryer so you can move around your hair and see the skin better. You can ask a loved one, relative or a close friend to do the visual check for your scalp since this would be particularly hard to do on your own.
- Take a look at the front and back of your body in your mirror then start raising your arms and give your left and right sides a good check.
- Bend your elbows and carefully examine your fingernails, palms, forearms (don’t forget about the undersides) as well as your upper arms.
- Check your legs, from the front, back to its sides.
- Don’t forget to give the skin on your buttocks and genital area a good look over.
- Pull up a chair and sit down then closely take a look at your feet, toenails, the spaces between your toes and the soles of your feet.
- You should remember where your moles are at and familiarize yourself with its usual look and feel.
Skin Cancer Check: Your Moles
Check for anything new like the following:
- A new mole which looks different from the rest of your moles.
- A new flaky, red or darker patch that’s a bit raised.
- A mole that’s changed its size, shape, color or texture.
- A sore that seems to not heal.
- A new firm bump that is flesh-colored.
Remember to jot down the dates of every self-check you do on your skin and note down descriptions of how your skin looks and feels. It may be also ideal to take some photos so you can visually compare how your skin looked before and at present and notice any changes.
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