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Gregory J. Vitas, MD

Do You Know the Warning Signs of Melanoma?

August 12, 2019 | By Gregory Vitas, MD, FACS

Summer is a great time to get outdoors and soak up that sunshine, but make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. This will protect you against both UVA and UVB rays that can cause skin damage, including skin cancer. Also, remember that radiation damage to skin is cumulative and adds up over time to increase risk.

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. It often appears as a new spot or a change in an existing mole. If you are a man, the most common areas for melanoma are your chest or back. If you are a woman, you might spot a melanoma on your legs. Both men and women, however, can develop melanomas on their neck or face, and even in areas not exposed to the sun, including between the toes, underneath the fingernails, the palms of their hands, the soles of their feet, their genitals and even their eyes.

The ABCDE method is a good way to determine if an abnormal skin growth or mole might be a melanoma. Check for:

Other signs to watch for are sores that do not heal or redness that spreads outside the border of a mole. If you notice itchiness or pain around a mole, or scaling or bleeding from a mole, it’s time to give us a call. Our surgeons have experience in diagnosing and removing all types of melanomas. Call us today if have a suspicious-looking spot.