Health & Wellness

How to Perform a Skin Exam at Home

June 30, 2018 By

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that all adults perform a skin exam once a year (and more often if you’ve had skin cancer before or are at high risk for it). Summer is the perfect time to soak up the sun, and the best reminder to protect your skin. This is your friendly reminder to check your skin this week – it’s quick and easy and could save your life!

The Skin Exam: What to look for

Perform your skin exam in front of a full-length mirror in a well-lit room. Use a hand held mirror to look at areas that are hard to see, such as the back of the thighs. You could also have a significant other, family member, or close friend look at the hard to see areas. Carefully go over all your skin and note any freckles and/or skin blemishes/lesions.

The ABCDE’s of Skin Cancer

A – Asymmetry. One half doesn’t match the appearance of the other half.

B – Border irregularity. The edges are ragged, notched, or blurred.

C – Coolor. The color (pigmentation) is not uniform. Shades of tan, brown, and black are present. Dashes of red, white, and blue add to a mottled appearance.

D – Diameter. The size of the mole is greater than 1/4 inch (6 mm), about the size of a pencil eraser. Any growth of a mole should be evaluated.

E – Evolution. There is a change in the size, shape, symptoms (such as itching or tenderness), surface (especially bleeding), or color of a mole.

If any areas of the skin are concerning, contact your doctor immediately. SteadyMD patients can simply send a photo to their doctor in the app. Your SteadyMD doctor will evaluate the photo and escalate to a specialist if necessary.