Nationally prominent dermatologist explains the signs of skin cancer
Skin cancer can be a frightening diagnosis. Fortunately, there is a way to remember the warning signs of skin cancer that can help in early treatment. It is as simple as knowing your ABCDEs.
Dr. Jeanine Downie, a national prominent dermatologist, educates people all of ages about the dangers of skin cancer. Dr. Downie is the founder of image Dermatology® in Montclair and sees patients from the surrounding neighborhoods and beyond. Dr. Downie is a fellow of the National Skin Foundation, the only international organization devoted solely to combating skin cancer, the most common of all cancers. According to the organization, when there are mole changes, it could be a sign of melanoma. This is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Therefore, it is important to look for the ABCDE signs:
- Asymmetry – If you draw a line through the middle of a mole, the two sides should match. This means the mole is symmetrical. When the two halves do not match, it is asymmetrical; a potential sign of melanoma.
- Border – An uneven border can be a sign of melanoma.
- Color – A variety of colors or different shades of brown, tan, or black can be a sign of melanoma. It may also become red, white, or blue.
- Diameter – Melanoma is usually larger in diameter than a pencil tip eraser, but it may be smaller when first detected. Many benign moles can be very confusing as they can be large and still be fine. This is why people need to see a board certified dermatologist for a full mole check a minimum of once a year.
- Evolving – When a mole starts to change or evolve in any way; it may be a warning sign. A mole that is bleeding, itching, or crusting should be checked out by your dermatologist.
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Skin cancer can strike at any time. Therefore, it is important to be vigilant about your skin every season of the year. You should always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher regardless of the weather. Every month, it is important to examine your skin from head to toe. Self-examinations can help you identify potential skin cancer early. If you have identified a suspicious lesion during your self-examination, call image Dermatology® at (973) 509-6900 today.