Skin cancer occurs when your skin cells begin to replicate abnormally, this is usually caused by exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays which can alter the DNA of the cells. It is the most common type of cancer in America, and although skin cancer can be dangerous, it is also highly treatable if caught early. So one of the best ways to protect yourself against the condition is with regular skin checks for moles that are potentially problematic, this can be done at home, but regular checkups with your dermatologist are also key, so to learn more reach out to Dr. Manuel Hernandez in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, and Arcadia, FL.
In between office visits, it's important to examine your own skin, so you'll need to know what to look for. A common strategy is to follow the rule of ABCDE, which stands for asymmetry, borders, color, diameter, and evolving, which are the issues you should consider when examining moles and spots.
Asymmetry refers to the shape of the mole, it could be concerning if it has no symmetry to it, if its borders are jagged, if there is no uniform color to the mole, or if it's larger than the head of a pencil's eraser.
The letter E denotes evolving, as in if any of the above characteristics change over the course of weeks, months, or years.
An in-office examination is the next step if you found a mole that's concerning, as well as to cover the skin you can't check yourself, these appointments are the best preventive step you can take to minimize your risk of skin cancer.
You will be asked to put on a gown and remove your clothing for the 10 to 15 minute examination. Your doctor will check your skin, including your scalp, behind the ears, fingers, and feet. A special device may be used to more closely examine certain moles or spots.
There are not a lot of special recommendations for these appointments, but it's important to check with the office beforehand. Typically, you'll be asked not to wear makeup or nail polish, and to have your hair loose so that the doctor can check your scalp.
Mole/Skin Check in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, and Arcadia, FL
If you are concerned about a particular mole or would just like to schedule a skin check and live in or near the areas of Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, and Arcadia, FL, you can arrange a visit with Dr. Hernandez by dialing (941) 764-7773.