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A Tanned Woman In A Straw Hat Stares At The Crashing Waves On A Beach, But An Exclamation Point Is Drawn On Her Shoulder In Sunscreen

Summer Skin Checks 101 – When to Be Concerned

Currently, more than 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the US every single day. It’s one of the most common forms of skin cancer out there, but also one of the easiest to treat if spotted early. This is why it’s essential to check your skin regularly, looking for the telltale signs of melanoma. 


The risk of skin cancer increases during the summer months. Constant exposure to UV rays can damage your skin and potentially cause melanoma. Consequently, Pinnacle Dermatology in Beaufort, SC, brings you a detailed guide on how to perform your own summer skin checks. To do this, we will break down the ABCDE skin check system that showcases the common characteristics of melanoma. 


It is perfectly normal to get new moles on your body that aren’t cancerous. One way to distinguish between the two is to look at the shape of the mole. Usually, melanoma is asymmetrical, so it doesn’t look perfectly circular or ‘normal’ in its shape. Be sure to check the shape and symmetry of any new moles/blemishes you find. 


Similarly, regular moles that aren’t a cause for concern will have borders that are easy to see and define. Skin cancer doesn’t. The borders are usually hard for you to spot and look quite irregular in shape. 


This is a very obvious characteristic to look at when checking your skin. A benign mole is usually all one color. It could be a shade of brown, but it will only be that shade. Cancerous moles have a tendency to be multiple shades of color. If your mole shows dark and light shades of brown or black, it could be cancerous and you should have it checked by a specialist. 


A simple way to measure the diameter of your mole is with a pencil. If the mole is larger than this, it could be melanoma. For a more accurate understanding, melanoma tends to be over 6mm in diameter. The pencil test is a fast way to see if you should be concerned or not. 



Lastly, you should always keep track of the evolution of your moles. A benign one can turn cancerous, and you can spot this if you notice changes in its size, shape, color, and so on. Safe and healthy moles will generally maintain the same characteristics day to day, year to year, but cancerous blemishes tend to evolve and change. 

Stay Vigilant

Conduct the ABCDE check on yourself throughout the summer months to spot any early warning signs of skin cancer. The good news is that melanoma is very treatable when spotted before it spreads. Traditionally, you can undergo skin cancer removal procedures to extract the melanoma from your body. 


If you spot any of the signs above, you should speak to a physician for a second opinion. The team at Pinnacle Dermatology is more than happy to help you with this or with mole removal treatments. We can remove both benign and cancerous moles, so feel free to contact us today for a consultation ASAP. 


When it doubt, get it checked out at Pinnacle Dermatology!

Skin cancers are both common and deadly, but they’re best treated when caught early. Don’t skip your ABCDE summer skin check this season, and don’t jump to conclusions if you notice one or more of the warning signs. If you suspect a spot or blemish, contact us or call us at (843) 524-5550.

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