Health Watch - Facing the Mirror: Mole Inspection

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about enhancing what you see in the mirror. But there are reasons other than vanity to take a good, long look in the mirror.

A spot or mole could be skin cancer, which can be deadly if it’s not detected early enough. Examining your skin for suspicious spots could help save your life. Dr. Clay Cockerell, a skin cancer expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says there are certain indicators that a spot needs professional evaluation. One is asymmetry, where the mole or spot doesn’t look the same on both sides. Another danger sign is irregular borders. Inconsistent colors, darker colors like purple or black, or changing colors can also indicate trouble. Look out for moles or spots larger than a quarter inch in diameter or ones that change, even if they’re small. If you notice any of these warning signs in either new spots or in spots you’ve had your whole life, see a doctor.  


June 2011

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