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Posts for tag: Dermatologist

By Priya Thakker, MD
February 18, 2021
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Dermatologist   Mole  
When To See a Dermatologist for a Mole
Worried that all those years of sunbathing have caught up with you? Do you have a family history of skin cancer? If so, these might be reasons to turn to a dermatologist every year for skin cancer screenings. These dermatology screenings can help us catch cancerous lesions early on when they are highly treatable. Of course, you should also be performing your own monthly examinations, checking your skin from head to scalp, to look for skin cancer. Here’s what you should be on the lookout for,

Remember Your ABCDEs

This easy-to-remember acronym will help you spot those signs of skin cancer whenever you examine moles yourself. This is what it stands for,
  • A is for asymmetry: A healthy mole will be perfectly circular and symmetrical. If you find that half of the mole is shaped differently from the other half, this could be a sign of pre-cancerous growth.
  • B is for a border: A healthy mole will have a clearly defined border. If the mole has a jagged or an even or poorly defined border, it’s time to visit your dermatologist.
  • C is for color: A healthy mole will remain a singular color throughout your life. If the mole changes color or develops multiple colors this could be a sign of skin cancer.
  • D is for diameter: A healthy mole is typically smaller than a pencil eraser (under 5mm). Moles over 5mm, or larger than a pencil eraser, may be cause for concern. Large moles warrant seeing a dermatologist.
  • E is for evolving: A healthy mole will remain the same over the course of your lifetime. So, if you notice it changing at all then it’s worth having a dermatologist look at it.
Lookout for These Moles, Too

Along with remembering your ABCDEs, it’s also a good idea to look for,
  • New moles: Just because you develop a new mole doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s cancerous; however, if you start noticing any new moles developing past the age of 20 (particularly on the face, neck, shoulder, or other sun-exposed areas), this warrants an evaluation with a skincare professional.
  • Troublesome moles: Do you have a mole that bleeds, itches, crusts over, or is painful or tender? If so, the mole should be checked out.
If you have a growth that has you concerned, a skin doctor can easily examine and biopsy the growth to determine if it’s cancerous. If it is, we offer a variety of treatment options that can remove the cancerous growth and help you get back to living your life.

Skin Care ProductsDon’t over-complicate your skin care routine with a multitude of products. Taking care of your skin should be simple. In most cases, all it takes is daily cleansing, proper nourishment and protection from the sun and other harmful toxins.

Cleanse

All skin types need cleansed once or twice a day, especially before bed. Gently wash your face to remove old make up and grime that accumulate over the course of a day. If you notice a pimple or blemish, don’t pick. It won’t get rid of it faster and may lead to scarring. Follow with a moisturizer or lotion to retain moisture and prevent skin from drying out.

Nourish

A well-balanced diet should also be an important part of your skin care regimen. Drink plenty of water and eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein. Berries, leafy greens, nuts and fish are rich in antioxidants and good for your skin. Exercise, get plenty of rest and reduce stress to keep skin looking and feeling its best.

Protect

Sun protection is important for every skin type. To guard against sun exposure, wear a hat and sunglasses when outdoors, seek shade when possible and avoid the hours of the day when the sun is its strongest. Always apply sunscreen to avoid premature aging, wrinkles and skin cancer, no matter what time of the year. Smoking is not only bad for your general health, but it can also damage your skin - when you smoke you expose skin to harmful toxins, which can accelerate aging skin.

A basic skin care routine is not only essential, but it’s easy. In many cases, enhanced daily cleansing, improved diet and heightened awareness about sun exposure and skin protection is all it takes to achieve more youthful, flawless skin. Talk to your dermatologist whenever you have questions or concerns abut your skin or your daily skin care routine.