The summer is a time when we’re often more aware of any changes to our skin and particularly concerned about any moles or spots that are worrisome. Most adults have some normal moles on their body which appear over the first few decades of their life. These moles usually appear as the result of sun exposure and most of them are not concerning. A normal mole is usually a brown color, it can be flat or elevated, and it is round or regularly shaped. Similarly, some people develop sun spots, which are dark brown spots that appear on the skin as the result of sun exposure.
While most moles or skin spots are not something to be concerned about, there are some that can be worrisome. Skin cancer is on the rise, yet it’s treatable when identified early. As a result, it’s important to know when you should worry about a mole and seek medical attention.
When you Should Talk to a Doctor about Moles or Skin Spots
As discussed, most moles or skin spots are harmless, but there are a few things you should look out for that will help you know if you should worry about a particular spot. If you have a mole that looks different than others, that has irregular edges, or that is larger than other moles, you should have your doctor examine it. Additionally, if you have a mole that is uneven in color or looks pinkish, that can be concerning. Finally, if you have a spot that is itching or bleeding, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. In general, perhaps the most important thing to look for is changes in your skin. If you have a spot that has recently changed, you’ll want to visit your dermatologist to have it checked.
Early Detection of Melanoma
If you do have any cancerous spots, it’s important that you treat them as early as possible. As a result, it’s a good idea for adults to check their skin at least every three months for any troubling or changing spots. If you have a family history of melanoma or increased risk factors for skin cancer, it’s a good idea to check your skin at least once a month. Additionally, it’s a good idea to schedule regular appointments with your dermatologist to ensure that there are no moles or spotting on the skin that you should worry about. Those with increased risk factors should do this every six months, and everyone should do it at least once a year.
If you have a spot on your skin that is changing or that looks different than other moles or spotting, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor as soon as possible. We’re available 24/7 to look at and consult with you about any spots that are worrisome.