A quick guide to understanding your spots
Warmer weather is just around the corner; and while we know you'd never step outside without a protective sunscreen and proper apparel, it's just as important to remember that our skin needs us to check up on it sometimes-it is our largest organ, after all!
Thankfully, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Brandith Irwin has compiled a helpful little cheat-sheet for all of us to know what to look for. See her recent "Skincare Tip of the Week" write-up below:
Moles, Lumps, and Bumps! What to get checked ASAP
What are moles and what need to be checked? Seriously, there is a list of over 30 things (diagnostic codes) that cover moles, lumps and bumps. But to be practical, here's what to get checked asap.
Get checked any mole that is changing. Moles are very important because they sometimes deadly form of skin cancer (Melanoma) starts in moles or shows up as a new mole. Why is it deadly? Because it spreads (metastasizes) to other organs like the brain, lungs, liver etc. and that's what causes death.
Also, generally moles should be a pencil eraser size or less and be symmetric. This means that if you draw a line through the middle of the mole the two sides should match each other.
Moles should generally be one color, like an even shade of brown or dark brown. Multiple colors in the same mole or a white spot in a mole (regression) means the mole needs to be checked.
Moles that you are born with (congenital mole) can be larger and not symmetric and be ok, but just to be safe, have your doctor look at it.
Moles that are itchy, tender, painful, or bleeding (unless you snagged it on something) also need to be checked.
For more information on this, read my in-depth resource here
See my answers to readers on this topic here
All the best,
Dr. Brandith Irwin
Co-Founder of SkinTour
Guest Expert on Oprah