In the United Stated there are more skin cancer diagnosis than all other cancer diagnosis combined. Podiatrists can detect skin cancer below the knee but we want all of our readers to be educated on the basics of identifying questionable skin lesions.
A – Asymmetry
If a skin lesion in asymmetrical when you draw a line through the middle of it and it will not look the same on both sides. Freckles, age spots, and other benign pigmented skin areas will look more or less like a circle. The lesions of concern are those that do not have a symmetrical look.
B – Border
The border of the area in question should be even and make a roundish shape. An uneven border that changes in thickness, color, and makes many turns is an indication of unhealthy skin.
C – Color
If the spot on your skin is a uniform color or changes only slightly than you are more than likely safe. If the skin spot makes a drastic change from a dark brown to a very pale brown then it is time to show your skin to a professional. Malignant lesions could range from brown, blue, red, tan, white, and black.
D – Diameter
Most normal skin lesions are below 6 mm. Once the area gets larger than a pencil eraser there is a higher potential for malignancy.
E – Evolving
when a mole starts to change in any of the above characteristics it is time to have it looked at. Occasionally benign moles will make alterations especially with sun exposure but large change in color, size, and shape are not normal.
There is reason to be concern if a mole become itchy frequently, bleeds regularly, takes an extended period of time to heal, or frequently crusts over. These are just a few other indications that your skin needs treatment. The above guidelines are valuable considering one in five Americans before the age of 70 will be diagnosed with skin cancer.
Don’t forget to apply sun screen all year around and for any skin questions below the knee Frederick Foot & Ankle is ready to address you concerns.