Understanding the ABCs of Skin Cancer can help you determine what spots on your skin might be potentially cancerous. While it’s not a fool-proof method, it’s a great guideline to helping people understand some of the common characteristics of cancerous moles.
Exposure to UV radiation is one of the leading causes of skin cancer. Avoiding this exposure is key in keeping your skin healthy and cancer free. However, even for the sun protection professionals out there you still need to be diligent in checking yourself regularly for unusual spots on your skin. Skin cancer is an extremely treatable form of cancer, especially when discovered early. So while it’s important to always keep your skin protected with quality UPF gear, it’s just as important to understand your skin and the signs to look for.
We pride ourselves on producing high quality clothing that is as comfortable as it is protective. Unlike most other companies, all of our products are designed to block UV radiation. For this, all of our apparel is certified at UPF 30 or better. We don’t claim to be dermatologists or skin care professionals, but aim to do everything we can to promote skin cancer awareness and safe skin health practices. With that in mind, we wanted to share one of the easy ways we’ve learned to check for potentially cancerous spots on the skin – The ABCs of Skin Cancer.
Skin Cancer ABCs
A: Asymmetry – Potentially cancerous moles are often asymmetrical with one half looking different than the other. This can be in shape or color. Pretend there is an invisible line down the middle and compare the two sides, healthy moles should be nearly identical.
B: Border – If a mole has blurry or uneven edges, that’s a bad sign. The edges of an early melanoma spot will be much less clear and uneven than that of a healthy mole.
C: Color – Potentially cancerous moles will have a wide variety of colors. They may even look like part of it is bruising. A healthy mole is uniform in color throughout.
D: Diameter – Melanomas are often larger than 6mm or ¼in (about the size of a pencil eraser). While it’s not the case 100% of the time most healthy moles will be on the smaller side.
E: Evolving – Look for any spots that might be actively changing. If you notice a mole getting larger, changing in color, or really changing at all it’s important to get it checked. Regularly checking your skin will help with understanding what your spots look like so you can keep an eye on any that may be changing.
Getting It Evaluated Further
The ABCs of Skin Cancer are simply a helpful guideline, but it’s important to understand that every mole is different. A mole may only show one of the 5 signs, but we’d still recommend getting it checked out in those situations. And again, we are not skin care professionals here at Rayward Apparel – If you have any concerns about your skin we’d highly recommend you see a dermatologist to discuss it further. And if you don’t already have a dermatologist, it can’t hurt to schedule an appointment. Skin cancer can happen to anyone and catching it early is critical. So even if you have no concerns, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.