Before you know it, the cool spring air will give way to hot summer sun. Getting your summer body ready means more than hitting the gym a few more times a week (or at all). While you’re thinking about fitting into that swim suit, it’s a good time to check your body for moles and spots. Sure, it may not be the most glamorous part of your pre-summer ritual, but it is an important one. The truth is, by knowing every inch of your skin, you’re doing your summer—and all-year—body a lot of good.
Doing a pre-summer body mole map now will help you keep an eye on changes and new developments after the heatwave comes and goes. Why? Because the tell-tale signs you might have skin cancer are moles that change from year-to-year, that are different from the others, or ones that itch or bleed. It’s impossible to remember what a mole looked like last year, so print out a body mole map and write it down. You can download a body mole map from the American Academy of Dermatology.
According the AAD, an estimated one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. By tracking your moles and protecting your skin, you can get ahead of it. When detected early on, skin cancer is highly treatable. So, let’s be smart about it. Here’s how to do a skin cancer self-examination and map your body moles before the summer.
Start with a Skin Cancer Self-Exam
Examine all sides of your body, under your arms, between your toes and fingers. Bend your elbows, examine your palms, and look at the back of your legs and feet. Use a hand mirror or ask someone to check the back of your neck and your scalp. Finally, don’t forget to examine your buttocks.
Make Note of Your Moles on a Body Mole Map
These maps are divided into body segments: The front and back of the body, bottoms of feet, front of the face, as well as the left, right, and top of the head. Mark your moles and spots on the appropriate image and take note of any specifics. Ask yourself these questions: Is it symmetrical? Is the border smooth or jagged? What size and color is it?
Once you get your body mole map in order, you’ll have a better sense of what changes have occurred in a few months’ time. After the summer, check again. Anything new or different? Update the sheet and then make an appointment with your dermatologist. The Derm Group has convenient locations in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Schedule a full body scan every year, especially when you have concerns, and we’ll keep you on right track for healthy skin.