The ABCDEs of Skin Cancer: 5 Warning Signs to Look For

The summer months are associated with sunny days and outdoor fun but it’s also a time to acknowledge one of the world’s most dangerous diseases affecting the skin. Caring for your skin goes beyond simply cleansing and nourishing the body’s protective barrier, it also means guarding it against harmful outside forces like ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This summer, our team at Gidon Aesthetics, who provide information on dermatology for Toronto area patients, will be highlighting important things to know about the common disease, including effective methods of prevention and detection.

THE ABCDES OF SKIN CANCER: 5 WARNING SIGNS TO LOOK FOR

Cancers can appear very differently on various people and there’s no fixed description. The A-B-C-D-E criteria provides useful details to make it easier to examine yourself for melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It can be explained as follows:

The ABCDEs of Detecting Melanoma

  • A is for Asymmetry: Normal moles maintain a uniform, symmetrical shape while cancerous lesions usually have two sides that don’t match.
  • B is for Border: The border of a cancerous mark is typically irregular, blurry and undefined.
  • C is for Colour: Rather than being a single, solid shade, skin cancer is characterized by unusual splotches of mottled black, brown, white, red, or blue.
  • D is for Diameter: Larger lesions that are 6mm or more in size may raise some red flags.
  • E is for Evolving: New marks, or ones that seem to be continually changing in shape, a cut that doesn’t heal properly, or unexpected symptoms such as bleeding should be checked out.

Skin cancer is associated with abnormal mutations of cells and is usually linked to the sun’s UV light. In addition to putting yourself at a greater risk of developing skin cancer, excess, unprotected sun exposure throughout life accelerates premature aging by damaging the structure of the skin. Some common symptoms include sunspots, wrinkles, and skin laxity, which may require laser skin enhancement.

The Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation warns against artificial indoor tanning and recommends seeking shade during the most intense hours of sunlight, frequently applying broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of over 30 before you go out,and wearing protective clothing to cover the skin.

Learn more sun protection tips from Toronto-based Gidon Aesthetics & MediSpa. Have questions about our cosmetic dermatology services? Call us today at 416-483-4541 or write to us to request an appointment.

Written by Dr. Martie Gidon

Gidon Aesthetics and MediSpa - Center for Laser Skin Resurfacing, Laser Skin Tightening and Cellulite Treatment. Cosmetic Dermatology practice of Dr Martie Gidon in Toronto providing a wide range of laser and light based therapies.

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