Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Time for a skin check!

The air is getting just a tad crisper, the hurricanes are a blowing, and the school year is just about to start. That's right folks, summer is almost over. And while I blogged earlier this summer about taking good care of your skin, perhaps some of you weren't quite as careful as you should have been in the sun.

Time for a little visit to your derm doc to do an annual skin check. Think of it as part of your health maintenance, just like you go to your lady parts doc to make sure your lady parts are in order, you should go to your skin doc to make sure you have nothing funky growing on your skin. Now you may be thinking, oh please, what are the chances?! But for women aged 25-29, melanoma is the most common form of cancer.

What if you have lots of moles and beauty marks? Well the only ones that are of medical concern are those that are new (like you didn't have them before), or that you got after the age of 20, or that look different that your other moles. If one all of a sudden changes it shapes or color, get your ass to a derm doc right away - especially if they start to bleed, itch, ooze, or become painful. 

The following ABCDEs are important signs of moles that could be cancerous. If a mole displays any of the signs listed below, have it checked immediately by a dermatologist:

Asymmetry—One half of the mole does not match the other half.
Border—The border or edges of the mole are ragged, blurred, or irregular.
Color—The mole has different colors, or it has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red.
Diameter—The diameter of the mole is larger than the pencil eraser.
Elevation/Evolution—The mole appears elevated (raised from the skin); or are the moles changing.

Getting your skin checked is totally painless. You basically strip down, put on a super sexy medical gown, and the doctor checks your body all over (even between your toes). If they think something looks funky, they will scrape off the mole and send it to a lab.

And next time, use more sunscreen!!

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