You probably don't want to get skin cancer and know that the best way to deal with it is to treat it as early as possible. You can do this by simply having your skin looked at each month. However, most people don't have the time or the money to go see a dermatologist every month to have their skin examined. Instead, consider performing this relatively simple self-exam that will allow you to search your own skin for cancer. Here's how to do it.
1. First, Check Your Face
Your first step is to check your face for any spots. Use the internet to be sure that you know the difference between a mole and pimple. Make note of any spots you see. Consider printing out a picture of your face from the front, back, and sides. Circle areas that you want to keep an eye on and keep these pictures in a safe place so that you can find them again the next month and can compare them to how your skin currently looks.
2. Next, Check Your Scalp
A location that many people don't anticipate getting skin cancer is the scalp. However, many people are not good about putting sunscreen on this part of their bodies because it is surrounded by hair. If your hair should shift in such a way that your scalp is exposed, the skin will be exposed to the sun's rays and could potentially burn or develop skin cancer. You can check your scalp by moving back and forth and by using a blow dryer and a comb to move parts of your hair so that you can see your scalp clearly. If need be, get a family member to help with this.
3. Check Your Hands
Move down to your hands. Examine their tops and bottoms and between your fingers. You might assume that when you apply sunscreen using your hands that enough of it gets on their to protect them, but you might be wrong.
4. Move to Your Torso
Finally, take your shirt off and stand in front of a mirror. Use two mirrors to see your back. Look for any spots that appear to have changed color or shape. Make note of them and commit to checking them out a week later. Be sure that you don't forget underneath your breasts and in your armpits.
If you have spent a lot of time tanning your legs, make sure that you give them a thorough check. Otherwise, you have checked the areas of your body that are most regularly exposed to the sun.
For more information, contact Heibel Dermatology or a similar location.