Sun & Skin News

3 Things to Look for When You’re Looking for Skin Cancer

By Skin Cancer Foundation • March 14, 2023
young man looking at the mirror holding a cellphone

Skin cancer is the cancer you can SEE. Yet it often goes undetected until it’s difficult to treat, disfiguring, or even life-threatening.

That’s why we launched The Big See® campaign – to show you how easy it is to open your eyes, get to know your skin, check yourself in the mirror and ask: “What’s that?” While you’re looking, keep these three words in mind: NEW, CHANGING or UNUSUAL. It could save your life!

What to look for:

Animated Gif of a growing green spot
1. Something new on your skin that just doesn’t look right and makes you say, “Wait, what’s that?” Make a note of when you first see it and keep an eye on it. If it doesn’t go away in a few weeks or starts to grow, see a dermatologist!

Animated gif of a colorful spots changing in shape, size and color

2. Any growth on your skin that has increased in size or thickness or has changed in color, shape or texture could be a warning sign. Time to make an appointment!

Animated gif of a green dot changing shapes

3. A spot or mole that looks different from the others should catch your eye. Is it darker, lighter or have more than one color? Does it bleed, itch, hurt, crust or not heal? Get it checked!

The takeaway: You have the most powerful tool to detect skin cancer: your eyes. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you do a head-to-toe self-examination of your skin every month and see a dermatologist at least once a year for a full-body skin exam.

While skin cancer is the world’s most common cancer, it’s also highly curable if caught and treated early enough. Early detection starts with you.

Download the self-exam PDF

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