Because of our experience managing skin cancer and its aesthetic effects on the eyelids and face, the Eyesthetica team encourages everyone to be informed about skin cancer and on the lookout for suspicious moles and lesions. Early detection is crucial to curing potentially deadly forms of skin cancer.
We advocate for monthly skin checks using the “ABCDE rule,” which is endorsed by organizations such as the American Academy of Dermatology and the Skin Cancer Foundation. The ABCDE rule is helpful for knowing what to look for.
Asymmetry is the first indication of a possible malignant mole or lesion. If you draw an imaginary line through the middle of the lesion, and the two halves match, it is likely benign. On the other hand, if the two halves do not match, it is asymmetrical and therefore a potential warning sign for skin cancer.
Benign moles tend to have smooth, even borders. If the border of a lesion is jagged, scalloped, uneven or poorly defined, it could indicate skin cancer.
Variation in colors is another indication of possible skin cancer. Benign moles are typically all one color (often brown), but a number of different shades/colors is a warning sign. Malignant lesions may change in color over time, morphing to red, white or blue.
Check the diameter of a suspicious mole or lesion. Benign moles tend to be smaller in diameter. If the mole is larger than a pencil tip eraser (around 6mm in diameter), then it may be suspicious. Keep in mind that some malignant moles start out small.
If the size or another feature of the mole evolves or changes over time, it could be a warning sign. Stay alert for any changes in shape, size, elevation or color. Take photos of moles to visually track them over time.
We also encourage our patients to download the American Academy of Dermatology’s body mole map for more information about checking the skin for signs of cancer.
If you have a suspicious mole, we suggest you schedule an appointment with your dermatologist as soon as possible. Early detection and intervention is key to curing the problem and minimizing the aesthetic effects of a malignant lesion or tumor.
For more information about skin cancer on the face and eyelids, please contact Eyesthetica. Call (213) 234-1000 or email us today.