A skin self-check is an important part of your health routine. It will help you identify and monitor any changes to your skin that might be cancerous or pre-cancerous.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends performing a skin self-check every month.
Be on the lookout for any suspicious-looking freckles or moles, especially those that are new or have changed color, size or shape.
Steps of a Skin Self-Check
To perform a skin self-check at home, you’ll need good lighting, a full length mirror, and a hand mirror.
- Examine your face carefully, including your nose, lips, mouth and ears. Make sure to look at the back of your ears.
- Inspect your scalp next, parting your hair in sections.
- Look at your hands, including the palms and backs, between the fingers and under the nails.
- Inspect your forearms, front and back.
- Look at your upper arms, front and back, including your underarms.
- Inspect your neck, chest and torso.
- Use a hand mirror to check your back, buttocks and the backs of your legs
- Use the hand mirror again to examine your genitals.
- Check the front and sides of your legs, ankles, tops and bottoms of your feet, and between the toes and under the toenails.
In addition to your monthly skin checks, you should also make an appointment with your dermatologist for a complete annual skin check. Be sure to alert your doctor immediately if you have a sore that won’t heal.