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Midday Fix: Tips for early detection of melanoma from Dr. Alix Charles

Dr. Alix Charles

American Academy of Dermatology
www.aad.org/

SPOTSkinCancer.org

You can identify the warning signs of melanoma by looking for the following:

A is for Asymmetry: One half doesn’t match the other.

B is for Border irregularity: The edges are ragged, notched or blurred.

C is for Color that varies from one area to another.

D is for Diameter: Melanomas are usually greater than 6 millimeters (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, but they can be smaller.

E is for Evolving: Look for a mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.

When spotted early, skin cancer, including melanoma, is highly treatable. To protect your skin, seek shade, wear protective clothing, and generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Remember to reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating. Unlike other cancers, most skin cancers can be seen on the surface of the skin. Perform regular skin self-exams to check for the signs of skin cancer. If you notice any spots that are different from the others, or anything changing, itching or bleeding on your skin, see a board-certified dermatologist.