Why You Need to Be Diligent About Skin Lesions
It’s not pleasant to think that unwanted skin lesions can grow on our bodies. Even when harmless, they can be unsightly and embarrassing blemishes that affect the way we view and present ourselves to others. Often, as is the case with skin tags and benign moles, these growths present absolutely no harm to our health, and many of us live entire lifetimes hardly even aware that they exist. But there is a deeper, darker side to these lesions, and if not handled responsibly, the consequences can be dire.
Just How Common is Skin Cancer?
For some reason, skin cancer doesn’t always get the press it deserves. Though there are campaigns for breast cancer, as well as institutes that specifically address cancers of the lungs, colons, and brain, skin cancer still seems relatively unaddressed in comparison. Unfortunately, this lack of awareness has devastating effects, as many people who avoid regular skin cancer screenings end up developing serious, life-threatening cancers.
Although skin cancer might not be talked about as frequently as other forms of cancer, the statistics are staggering. Each year, in the United States alone, more than 5.4 million cases of skin cancer are treated in 3.3 million people
. Also, new incidents of skin cancer routinely top the number of new cases from breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer combined.
Recognizing the Difference Between Malignant and Benign Skin Lesions
Ultimately, the only way to be sure about skin lesions is to have them examined by a trusted, board-certified dermatologist. But there are some common warning signs that may point towards concerns in skin growths. These signs are commonly referred to as the ABCDE rule
, which stands for asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and evolution.
As the acronym suggests, atypical moles tend to share these characteristics, and any combination of these traits should be taken extremely seriously.
When to See Your Dermatologist
If you are concerned about a mole or lesion on your body, you should contact your dermatologist right away. In addition, it is important to schedule yearly skin exams as a preventative measure, as dermatologists are much better adept at recognizing suspicious growths than the average person.
During a skin exam, your dermatologist will discuss any areas of concern and determine whether suspicious lesions should be removed and biopsied. Furthermore, using the Visia Skin Complexion Analysis, your dermatologist will be able to show you underlying issues that might arise as skin concerns in the future.
Once a plan is put forth to remove any suspicious lesions, a date will be scheduled for your procedure and the results will be sent to a lab for thorough examination.