Skin cancer symptoms and how to spot a spot
Get to know your skin!
It’s important to get to know your skin and what is normal for you so that you notice any changes. Skin cancers rarely hurt and are much more frequently seen than felt.
While all skin types can be damaged by too much UV radiation, the skin types that are more sensitive to UV radiation burn more quickly and are at a greater risk of skin cancer.
People with naturally very dark skin still need to take care in the sun even though they may rarely, if ever, get sunburnt. The larger amount of melanin in very dark skin provides natural protection from UV radiation. This means the risk of skin cancer is lower.
It’s also important to remember that it’s not only your skin that can be harmed by too much sun exposure. Eye damage can occur regardless of skin type so everyone should wear hats or sunglasses to protect their eyes.
Skin cancer symptoms
Normal, healthy freckles and moles usually have a smooth edge and an even colour. Skin cancers don’t all look the same but there are some signs to look out for including:
- A is for Asymmetry – Look for spots that lack symmetry
- B is for Border – A spot with a spreading or irregular edge
- C is for Colour – Spots with various colours such as black, blue, red and/or grey
- D is for Diameter – Look for spots that are getting bigger
These are all good pointers which are easy to remember, but you should also be on the lookout for a spot that is different from other spots, a spot that bleeds or a sore that doesn’t heal.
Checking your skin every three months, or as recommended by your GP, will help you. It is also a good idea to talk to your doctor about your level of risk and for advice on early detection. The sooner a skin cancer is identified and treated, the better your chance of avoiding surgery or, in the case of a serious melanoma or other skin cancer, potential disfigurement or even death.
Meet Doctor Ron Louis
During his 25 years as a GP, Dr Ron Louis always had an interest in dermatology. Ron then decided to turn that passion into his day job and founded Skin Doctor SA in Semaphore, where he offers a wide range of both medical and cosmetic skin care treatments. Ron’s extensive medical background and highly-honed skills give his patients of all peace of mind that they are getting the very highest quality treatment at Skin Doctor SA.
Don’t wait for any symptoms to show before you get your skin checked. Contact Skin Doctor SA to book your appointment and relieve any fears you may have. Call us on (08) 8449 2002 or click here to get in touch.