Skin Self-Examination.

Skin Self-ExaminationIt is important to examine your skin every month, to help find melanoma at an early stage. Get to know the pattern of moles, spots, freckles, and other marks on your skin. This helps you recognize any changes.

One way to do this is to stand in front of a full-length mirror. Use a hand-held mirror along with the full mirror, for areas that are hard to see. Examine all areas of your body, including the lower back, buttocks, back of shoulders, and backs of the thighs.

Any unusual sore, lump, spot, marking, or change in the way an area of the skin looks or feels may be a sign of skin cancer, or a warning that it might develop.

The skin might become scaly or crusty or it may ooze and bleed. It may feel itchy, tender, or painful. It may become red and swollen.

If you notice any spots on the skin that are changing in size, shape, or color, you should speak with your doctor as soon as possible.

It is also important to see a dermatologist once a year, especially if you are at risk for melanoma. Have your doctor examine all of your skin when you go for your annual physical.