Happy Easter to all! Whether you celebrate the holiday or not you all know the age old tradition of the Easter Egg Hunt. How fun it is to watch all the children get excited about the Easter bunny coming and then finding all the hidden eggs. It’s quite the process; dying eggs, hiding eggs, preparing baskets, getting Easter dresses and teaching the reason for the season. Well, there is a hunt we do in dermatology that is actually a lot less exhausting. The hunt for skin cancers. The three skin cancers we mainly deal with are basal cell skin cancer, squamous cell skin cancer and melanoma. Melanoma is the bad guy that can move into your body and kill you. They are all bad guys but he is like the serial killer that needs to be locked up forever and the others are more like drunk drivers that deserve at least a night in the drunk tank maybe even an extended stay at the local jail. You should all come in and let a dermatologist hunt your skin for skin cancers at least once a year, maybe more often if you are high risk. If it’s your birthday month then make that the month you always come for your skin cancer check, it’s easy to remember that way. I usually recommend taking pictures of your spots/lesions/moles and retaking the pictures in 3 months for comparison. Anything changing or growing needs a look sooner than later by a pro-fesh-on-al. Here are some red flags that should bring you to your derm sooner than later.
1. Spots that bleed and don’t seem to heal reasonably.
2. Asymmetry – That basically means a funky shape. If you draw a line through your mole and one side doesn’t match the other that needs further investigation.
3. Borders – Are the borders ill-defined or smudgy looking? Not good, please let me check that mole for you!
4. Color – In most instances of life variety is a good thing. Not when it comes to your moles. Different colors in one mole can be a characteristic of melanoma. Is a mole darker than the others and just really stands out? Go get that mole checked!
5. Diameter – Big moles need to be looked at by a dermatologist. Big is generally defined as bigger than a pencil eraser.
6. Evolving – We rely heavily on this. Anything that is new, changing or growing we want to see.
Are you worried about a spot and want it checked? It’s usually a pretty easy process so don’t fret! I had one removed a few weeks ago and then worked all day and forgot I even had it done(oh and I’m a baby that hates needles in me). In my opinion, you should make sure whoever removes your mole sends it to a dermatopathologist. That’s a pathologist that is expert at looking at diseases of the skin under the microscope. Did you know Johnson Dermatology has a lab with a dermatopathologist, Dr. Amy Hudson? We do and we are pretty proud of her! Yes that is my horn you hear-TOOT TOOT! Don’t just hunt eggs this Easter, get in on the skin hunt for cancers and come let us look you over at Johnson Dermatology. We promise to be gentle and take good care of you!
Stay happy, stay beautiful and as always stay skintastic! Thanks for following! Just opened a twitter account at the request of some very hip co-workers. You can get to know me better there as soon as I find the twitter manual on how to start tweeting. Yes, I am that old. Follow me there @skinnyonskingal