Self-help: Checking your Skin

Most skin blemishes, such as moles, are not cancerous, but it is important to check your skin regularly so that any signs of skin cancer can be detected early and treated. You should inspect your skin about every couple of months and get to know your moles and blemishes. Ask another person to help you examine your back and scalp. You should consult your doctor promptly if you are concerned about any change to your skin or notice any of the following:

  • A mole that is more than 6 mm ( 1 / 4 in) in diameter and is growing rapidly.

  • A mole that changes shape (no matter what size it is) or colour.

  • A mole that has uneven coloration and/or a ragged edge.

  • A mole that is itchy, inflamed, or crusty, or that oozes or bleeds without an obvious cause (such as having been nicked while shaving).

  • A new mole that looks unusual (for example, with patchy coloration or a ragged edge).

  • A blemish, lump, or sore that develops without an obvious cause (such as in insect bite) and lasts for more than a few weeks.

  • Patches of skin that are itchy, flaky, tender, inflamed, ooze, or bleed without an obvious cause (such as sunburn or eczema).

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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