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Included in this month of awareness is Melanoma Monday (first Monday in May) as well as Don’t Fry Friday (Friday before Memorial Day). As we inch ever closer to summer, the risk for UV damage to the skin increases. Most skin cancers are caused by overexposure to UV radiation but fortunately, skin cancer is preventable and highly curable if found early. The best way to detect skin cancer early is to examine your skin regularly and recognize any changes in moles or skin growths.

Remember to take as many precautions as possible to prevent UV damage. These steps include not burning or tanning, wearing UV-protective clothing and hats, and generously (and frequently) applying sunscreen. We offer several types of physical sunscreens including tinted moisturizers and antioxidant sunscreen powders from Priori Skincare and Jane Iredale. Come in for a complimentary consultation to find the best fit for your skin!

The warning signs of melanoma come in different sizes, shapes, and colors (and sometimes all three). The ABCDEs of melanoma break down exactly what to look for during a self-check.

AAsymmetry – If you draw a line through the middle of the mole, the halves of a melanoma won’t match in size

BBorder – The edges of an early melanoma tend to be uneven, crusty, blurred or notched

CColor – Healthy moles are uniform in color. Moles that are varied in color (shades of tan and brown, black and sometimes white, red or blue) are cause for concern

DDiameter –  Melanomas are usually greater than 5mm (about the size of a pencil eraser) however, they can be smaller when diagnosed

EEvolving – Any changes in appearance, such as size, shape, or color and/or changes in symptoms, such as bleeding, oozing, or itching

Regular self-checks are important to spot any changes or new skin growths. If you do notice any of the above irregularities, schedule a check-up with your dermatologist.

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