Checking your skin

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With Summer well and truly out of the way, there comes a question each of us needs to ask ourselves.

How well do you know your freckles and moles?

According the Australian Cancer Council, the average Australian 15 year old will already have over 50 moles on their body. The relationship we have with them and our awareness towards them, is highly important.

As a rule, moles will all look fairly alike. Each one should be uniform in colour and shape. They might be raised, which is perfectly normal, but they should remain smooth and soft.

There are varying types of skin; it is suggested that the more moles you have, the higher your risk of skin cancer. If you have a relatively significant number on your skin, it’s all the more important to be aware of what they look like so as to ensure you notice differences.

Knowing what your skin and moles generally look like, is a crucial step in discovering skin cancer because the best indication that you’re at risk is when you notice a change in one’s shape and/or colour. Develop a practice of checking your body every 3 months or so.

If you discover a spot that has developed any of the following indicators, it’s important to be checked by a health care professional for signs of skin cancer:

  • More than one colour, or change in colour
  • Smudgy edges, no clear line
  • Irregular shape
  • Change in texture, no longer smooth and/or soft
  • Has grown in size
  • Has red or pink shade in or around it
  • Is itchy, sore or bleeding
  • Any new moles that appear during adulthood

The bottom line is to be actively aware of your freckles and moles. You must take notice of where you have spots and what they look like, so as to recognise any changes or new moles that have developed.

Are you skin cancer aware? You can find out more at the Cancer Council website, who have an abundance of information concerning prevention and what to recognise.

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