If this is your brain, it’s time to see a dermatologist

On average, there are between 10 and 40 thousand moles in the human body. These small growths on the skin – usually round or oblong in shape and pink, purple, brown or black – are very common and generally harmless.

However, sometimes abnormal moles can be a sign of melanoma, a relatively rare but deadly form of skin cancer. So it is important to know what to look for. (Non-melanoma skin cancers, such as basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma, account for the majority of cases, but are less aggressive.)

Melanoma can be caused by an existing mole, but usually occurs as a new sore on the skin. It can occur anywhere on the body, but is most common on the chest and back for men and legs for women.

The good news is that melanoma can be cured at an early stage, dermatologist Dr. Darrell S. Rigel told HuffPost.

“If it is caught early, a simple removal is enough to cure it,” said Riegel, a clinical professor of dermatology and director of the Melanoma Surveillance Clinic at Ikan Medical School in Mount Sinai.

However, once it spreads, the survival rate for melanoma is less than 50% – even with some of the newer available treatments, Riegel noted that this type of cancer “spreads early in its course.”

Some factors may increase the risk of melanoma, including excessive sun exposure, the use of indoor solariums, the presence of atypical moles, and a family history of the disease. It is also more common in people with white skin, flammable hair, red or blonde hair, and light-colored eyes.

People of color are less likely to develop melanoma than white people, but due to a lack of public and professional awareness, they are more likely to develop melanoma. For people with darker skin, melanomas occur in areas that are less exposed to the sun, such as the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, or under the nails or toenails.

How to find a suspicious mole

To help determine if your brain is actually cancerous melanoma, use the dermatologist-supported ABCDE rule, which means asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and development.

If your brain meets one or more of the following criteria, see your dermatologist to have it checked. Don’t panic: Most atypical moles do not develop into cancer. However, to be safe, suspicious locations should be inspected.

Asymmetry: If you draw a line in the middle of the mole, one half of it will not match the shape or size of the other.

If you draw a line in the middle of an asymmetrical mole, the two halves will not match.

The border is incorrect: its edges may be embossed, scaly or blurred, which means “the boundaries between the mole and normal skin are blurred,” says a Seattle dermatologist. Joyce Park told HuffPost.

The edges of the irregular mole may be serrated or serrated.
The edges of the irregular mole may be serrated or serrated.

Irregular color: If the color is not the same, pay attention. The same mole could include “different shades of red and pink, brown and black,” Park said. As it grows, you may notice that a little more white or blue appears.

The different colors inside a mole are a warning sign.
The different colors inside a mole are a warning sign.

Larger than 1/4 inch in diameter: Think about the size of a bean or pencil eraser.

The diameter of melanomas can be larger than a pencil sharpener, but smaller.
The diameter of melanomas can be larger than a pencil sharpener, but smaller.

Development: The size of the mole increases or changes in shape or color.

Pay attention to any spots or injuries that have developed in size, shape, or dimension.  Other changes, such as bleeding or peeling, are also warning signs.
Pay attention to any spots or injuries that have developed in size, shape, or dimension. Other changes, such as bleeding or peeling, are also warning signs.

“Look at the moles that dermatologists call ‘bad ducks,’ which means they’re very different from the other moles on your body,” Park said.

Not all melanomas meet the above descriptors. So, as a general rule, if you have “enlarged, scaly, bleeding, or significantly altered” spots on your body, see your dermatologist, Rigel advised.

The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends self-examination of your skin at home. Look at your whole body in the mirror – front and back. Then raise your hand and look to your right and left. Also check your wrists, underarms, palms, and the back of your feet, the middle of your toes, and the soles of your feet. Don’t forget your nails, neck and scalp. It may be helpful for your loved one to look at the back of your body or other areas that are difficult for you to see, or to ask your hairdresser to look at your scalp.

“For this process to be effective, you need to take the time to study your skin and brain,” Riegel said. “Self-examination of skin for patients with skin cancer [are] Recommended monthly. We also recommend that the group see a dermatologist every year. ”

What to do if you see something suspicious

The dermatologist performs a physical examination and examines the suspect area with his eyes, as well as with a dermatoscope – a non-invasive magnifying device that allows them to see the wound better.

“If a mole appears to be suspected of having cancer, or if its size has changed or enlarged, a dermatologist may perform a biopsy,” Park said. “We use local anesthesia to soothe the skin and then remove the mole.”

The dermatologist examines the suspect with a dermatoscope to determine if a biopsy is needed.

Igor Alexander via Getty Images

The dermatologist examines the suspect with a dermatoscope to determine if a biopsy is needed.

This is usually done with a “simple shave,” Riegel said, then covered with a bandage and does not require stitches. Then, the skin sample is sent to the laboratory for testing.

“The results will come back from the pathologist in a few days and then appropriate follow-up can be made,” said Riegel.

Reduces the risk of skin cancer

To reduce the risk of skin cancer, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends being in the shade as much as possible – especially from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., when the sun is strongest.

Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, which has a wide range and is water resistant. And don’t forget to re-wipe every two hours or after sweating or taking a bath. Wide-brimmed hats, UV protection goggles and light, long-sleeved shirts and pants can provide extra protection.

And if you’re worried about blemishes on your skin, don’t hesitate to see a dermatologist.

“Research is easy and in most cases nothing happens,” Riegel said. “But if that’s something, it’s important to address it as soon as possible.”

.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.