The ABCDEs of Checking Moles

As Summer approaches and we spend more time outdoors, your IMA Physicians want to remind you of the importance of taking precaution when out in the sun. Here are a few tips to help prevent skin cancer:
  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
  • Do not burn.
  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning beds.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside.Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
Is It Melanoma?
Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer. The following is a memory tool for warning signs:
Is your mole…?
A. Asymmetric: Does it have an irregular shape, not round?
B. Borders:  Are the edges irregular, squiggly?
C. Color: Is it Black or have multiple colors?
D. Diameter:  Is it larger than a pencil eraser?
E. Evolving:  Is it changing size, shape, color or begin to bleed?
If the answer to any of these questions is Yes, please see your IMA doctor for further evaluation.
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