HOUSTON (WPVI) --It's time to get naked! Why? Because the best way to keep your skin healthy is to check it from head to toe. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and while it's important to be diligent about our skincare year-round, now is the time to be extra diligent in the way our skin appears.
Dr. Sherry Ingraham of Advanced Dermatology says any changes in moles - new and old - should be a red flag, and to consider the ABCDEs when checking for Melanoma, or skin cancer.
A - Asymmetry - If you were to draw a line through the middle of a mole, would both sides look the same? If they're symmetrical, that's good. If they're different, or asymmetrical, that could be a warning sign for melanoma.
B - Border - If the border on a mole looks uneven or unsmooth, and even scalloped, it could be melanoma.
C - Color - Most benign moles are one color. A mole that has a mix of browns, blacks or tans could be malignant. Also, melanoma could be red, white or blue, and if you see these colors, seek a dermatologist immediately.
D - Diameter - Malignant moles are usually larger in diameter and are often an inch or larger, but not always. They can be smaller when they're first detected.
E - Evolution - Dr. Ingraham says this is the most important thing to look for. If your moles are changing, that's the first sign of skin cancer.
Dr. Ingraham has found skin cancer on people's scalps, inside their ears, under the nail beds, even between their toes, so it's important to have a loved one check every area from the scalp to the feet. If any of the ABCDE issues seem to appear, contact a dermatologist.
In the meantime, practice good skincare. Dr. Ingraham says the fastest-growing population with skincare are young adults. So, prevention is key. Everyone should wear a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Also, make sure it's UVA and UVB, and finally the best sunscreens have zinc in them.
If you happen to be in Houston in the coming week, MD Anderson Sugar Land will hold a free skin cancer screening from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 14. To sign up, click here: