6. Examine your skin.Take the time to inspect your skin and be aware of any freckles, moles, bumps or birthmarks. Use the A-B-C-D-E test, developed by the American Academy of Dermatology, to determine if you should be concerned about any changes to your skin.* A stands for asymmetrical shape. Do you have a mole or growth on the skin that is shaped irregularly?* B stands for irregular border. Does your mole or growth have an abnormal or notched border?* C stands for changes in color. Does your mole or growth have multiple colors or an unequal distribution of color.* D stands for diameter. Do you have a newly discovered growth or mole larger than one-quarter inch in diameter?* E stands for evolving. Has your mole or growth changed over time in terms of color or shape? Is there any new bleeding or itchiness?If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should speak with your health care provider and have your mole or skin growth evaluated right away.
Melanie A. Dixon, M.D., is a Mayo Clinic Health System family physician with a focus on skin care. Dr. Dixon will give a Speaking of Health presentation on skin cancer and sun protection that is open to the public in the lower level conference center of the hospital at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato on Monday, May 20 at 7 p.m. For more information, please go to mayoclinichealthsystem.org.