(970) 964-4036

Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer and is responsible for the majority of skin cancer related deaths. Melanoma may develop from an existing mole or appear as a new growth on normal skin.

It can be difficult to differentiate a melanoma from a healthy mole, but there are some guidelines that you can follow. Unlike healthy moles, melanomas tend to be asymmetric, have irregular borders, have multiple colors, have a diameter greater than a pencil eraser and change (evolve) over time. If you notice a growth with any of these characteristics you should see a board certified dermatologist for a check.

How can I get melanoma?

Melanoma may arise due to a wide variety of factors.

  • Sun Exposure: Excessive sun or tanning bed exposure and blistering sunburns increase your risk of melanoma.
  • Genes: If people in your family have had skin cancer, you are at an increased risk of developing skin cancer yourself.
  • Your Appearance: Those with fair skin, blonde or red hair, and lighter eyes are more susceptible to melanoma.
  • Your Personal History: Someone who has already had one skin cancer is at a higher risk for developing additional skin cancers, including melanoma.
  • Many Moles: The more moles a person has, the higher their risk of melanoma.

How can you prevent melanoma?

  • Skin Checks: Going in to see a board certified dermatologist at least once per year for a skin exam can lead to early detection of a melanoma. The earlier the melanoma is found, the more likely treatment will be successful. Also, performing monthly skin checks on yourself will help you identify cancers as soon as possible.
  • Sun Protection: Wearing sunscreen and sun-protective clothing will decrease your exposure to ultraviolet radiation and the chances of developing skin cancer.
  • No Tanning Beds: Don’t use tanning beds! These have the same effects on your skin as direct sun exposure does and harm your skin equally as much.

Montrose Dermatology + Cosmetics is here to help if you need an annual or other skin check! Make sure you’re safe and schedule a skin check or consultation by calling (970) 964-4036.