Joy Chastain, M.D., Athens Dermatologist Dermatology logo for print

Joy B. Chastain, M.D., F.A.A.D.

Address: 1500 Oglethorpe Avenue, Suite 3000, Athens, GA 30606
Phone: 706-543-1335 • Fax: 706-543-1395

Joy B. Chastain, M.D., F.A.A.D. Melissa Cannon, PA-C

How to Check Yourself For Skin Cancer

Quick - what's the one thing you can do right now that will improve your odds of living a long and healthy life?

Forget drinking a kale smoothie or logging hours on the treadmill. One of the best ways to make sure you enjoy a long life is to check yourself for signs of skin cancer.

Unfortunately, skin cancer is on the rise, with deadly melanoma being one of the most diagnosed cancers in younger people (particularly women) under the age of 30. Given all we know about sunscreen and keeping safe under the summer sun, it's more important than ever to educate yourself on the signs of skin cancer.

Fortunately, it's incredibly easy to perfonn your own skin cancer check - all you need is a hand mirror, a bathroom mirror, and a few minutes of your time!

  • Start by examining your face. Check for moles, pink lesions, and freckles that may have changed in size and appearance. Check the front of your neck as well.
  • Tum your back to the bathroom mirror and hold your hand mirror to your face. Examine the back of your neck in the bathroom mirror, as well as your back.
  • Examine your chest, arms, and stomach for the same unusual lesions, moles, and bumps.
  • Use the hand mirror to examine the backs of your legs. Check the front of your legs as well.
  • Check your feet, as well as the soles of your feet and between your toes.

It's important to do this skin cancer check at least every six months, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. At this frequency, you can stay vigilant for signs of skin cancer.

If you spot any dark or oddly colored moles, pink lesions, or bumps that look like pimples, you should schedule a consultation with a dermatologist or skin cancer specialist right away.