Monthly at-home skin check-ups
Published: April 28, 2023
By: Dr. Jeremy Brauer
Author Website: Click to Visit
In advance of Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May, Dr. Jeremy Brauer, a NY-based board-certified dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon and founder of Spectrum Skin and Laser, shares below 3 ways to reduce your risk of skin cancer.
You should do an at-home skin check-up once a month by checking your skin from hair to toes and front to back. You should look out for:
- Changes in size, shape or color of existing moles/spots: When doing an at-home skin check you should look out for unusual changes in existing moles or spots. Patients tend to notice or focus on new moles or spots, but frequently miss changes in size, shape or color of spots they already had. Anything new, changing or unusual is worth a call and / or visit to your dermatologist!
- Poor healing: Poor healing of a scab or sore can be an indicator of skin cancer and should not be ignored. In its initial healing stage, bleeding or crusting is normal. However, if you have had a rough or scaly red patch that doesn’t heal over time, you should visit your dermatologist. A pimple that also fails to resolve after a prolonged period of time is worth an evaluation as well.
- Pay attention to the borders: If the edges of your mole, bump, or skin spot are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred, you should keep making mention of that to your dermatologist. If you notice that the color spreads beyond the border, that is also worth a visit to your dermatologist to get checked.
- Unusual bumps or scabs on the scalp: You should do an at-home skin check-up once a month. It is important to check your skin from hair to toes and front to back. Many people check their skin but forget to look for irregularities in their scalp. If you see unusual bumps, scabs, or changes in size, shape or color you should visit your dermatologist. It’s also a great idea to enlist your stylist/colorist/barber and ask that if they notice anything to let you know so you can contact your dermatologist.
- Use SPF Daily
Sunscreen isn’t only for when you are spending time outdoors. You should implement SPF in your everyday skincare routine. You can use SPF after applying moisturizer or purchase moisturizer with a built in SPF. If you are planning on spending time outdoors, apply sunscreen regularly throughout the day (every 2 hours!). You can also wear caps and long sleeve clothing to add an extra layer of protection.
- Avoid tanning beds
Avoid tanning beds, sun beds and sun lamps completely. Exposing your skin to high concentrations of UV rays can increase your risk of skin cancer and cause premature aging. Instead, try tanning non comedogenic tanning oils or drops.
About Dr. Jeremy Brauer
Dr. Jeremy Brauer is an internationally recognized dermatologist with board certification and fellowship training in Mohs micrographic, laser, and cosmetic surgery. He has been invited to speak around the world about his research, which has been published in many of the field’s leading publications. Dr. Brauer strives to provide the highest quality of care and an exceptional patient experience utilizing state of the art technology and techniques. With a newly opened practice and team of experts, Dr. Brauer is quickly rising to the top for his medical knowledge, state of the art techniques, and down to earth way of communicating medical procedures.