How often should I have my moles checked?
The first step is being aware of your own body and skin. If you have no personal or family history of skin cancer and no new or suspicious marks, an annual skin check is sufficient.
To see if a more frequent visit is necessary, there are some simple rules to follow:
Look for warning signs; a worrisome mole will be changing in size, shape, or color.
Follow the ABCD rules for mole evaluation: A stands for asymmetry; one half of the mole doesn't match the other. B is for border; the border of the mole has irregular, notched, blurred, or ragged edges. C is for color; there are different shades of brown or black or some areas of red, white, or blue. D is for diameter; the mole is larger than 6 millimeters or about 1/4 inch -- the size of a pencil eraser -- or it's growing larger.
If your moles fit any of the criteria in the ABCD rule, you should seek the medical advice of your dermatologist.
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