A small mole on the upper lip can become a beauty mark for one, and a slightly distorted mole can become life threatening for another. Generally adults have a large number of moles on their body. While most of these are normal, there can be a few here and there which can become cancerous. Since, it is difficult to spot a cancerous mark on the body from the normal ones, dermatologists suggest regular check up of all the spots in the body (both big and small).
Human skin is very sensitive, and it is very vulnerable to harmful rays of the sun. Dermatologists may advise you to not get out of the house under direct sun, but all of us know that’s practically impossible. Though, sun is good for the skin in moderation, it emits dangerous UAV and UAB rays which can lead to various types of skin cancer.
Not all the marks on the body are beautiful
Recognizing and understanding signs of skin cancer are not easy. This is largely because an adult can have anywhere between 10-40 moles and other marks on the body. Finding any unwanted or dangerous mark in so many spots can be very difficult.
A handy and pretty effective way of finding a cancerous spot is by being aware of ABCD. ABCD according to dermatologist Dr Jody A. Levine means:
A – Asymmetry
B – Border irregularity
C – Color variety
D – Diameter greater than 5 millimeters
So what is this ABCD
According to Levine, if you have a dark spot on the skin, keep a constant look for any change in color, size or shape of the spot. If the spot is asymmetric, there is irregularity in its borders, the color has changed to pink, black or brown or the spot’s diameter increases more than 5 millimeters, you should be concerned and should seek medical attention at the earliest.
Beauty marks v skin cancer
A simple harmless mole is a symmetrical mark. It is uniform in color and has a smooth border. It’s mostly smaller than ¼-th of an inch. As you grow in age, keep track of the size and color of the mole. Consult a doctor if you sense change in color, shape or size of the mole.
Melanoma – an asymmetrical mole
Melanoma is a mole without borders; it’s large and contains various shades of black, red, blue, brown, red or white. Melanoma could be a new mole or an existing one. This is serious form of skin cancer, if not detected and checked early, it can spread rapidly to other parts of the body.
Basal cell carcinoma
If you notice some kind of reddish, whitish or pinkish sore, which oozes, stays for weeks and then subsides only to crop up again; you may be in for a serious problem. This condition could be called basal cell carcinoma and it may be caused by damage to the skin by sunburn and UV rays. Basel cell carcinoma doesn’t form on existing moles, and if these awkward sores go unnoticed, they can become life threatening.
Actinic keratosis is itchy sore
Actinic keratosis is a situation caused by small itchy patches or sores that have rough texture, undefined boundaries and are red, pink or tan in color. The precancerous growth does not crop up in existing moles but usually develops on face, neck, scalp and hands. If not removed early, these patches can become cancerous.