Skin exam after holidays
Skin exam after holidays

Skin exam after holidays

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Melanoma is one of the most dangerous skin neoplasm that, in many cases, may give spreads at an early stage. At the moment, it is the most frequent cause of death due to skin cancer. Melanoma is visible on the skin very quickly at early stages of its development, therefore doctors recommend self-examination of pigmented moles once a month. In particular, we should pay attention to moles that are irregular in shape, of uneven edges, multi-colour, changing in a short time and exceed 5 mm. When any suspicious changes are noticed, it is advisable to see a doctor who will carry out relevant diagnostic tests – dermoscopy and video-dermoscopy.

About 5 -7% of all skin tumours is melanoma, which is one of the most malignant of cancers. In the last three decades, the incidence rate of this cancer, both in women and men, has almost tripled.

Melanoma derives from melanocytes that are pigment skin cells and may develop malignant mutation. It is most frequently located on the skin but may also develop in mucous membranes – such as vulva, rectum, mouth or retina.

Doctor Elżbieta Kowalska-Olędzka PhD, a dermatologist

What to look for?

Certain features of pigmented moles should raise our attention. The American Cancer Society has prepared the following ABCDE signs:
  • A for Asymmetry – an asymmetric shape
  • B for Border – uneven, scalloped or notched borders
  • C for Colour – brown, black, red or blue
  • D for Diameter – larger in diameter than 5 mm
  • E for Evolution – any changes in colour or size, elevation, bleeding, itching or crusting

How to take care of your skin after holidays?

During holidays, the ultraviolet rays (UV) have an increased impact on our skin.

As a result, the DNA of cells can be damaged and the skin repair processes can be impaired. Uncontrolled exposure to UV is harmful to every human. However, in some people, the melanoma risk is higher. These are persons with numerous pigment moles, atypical moles, people with light complexion, light or red hair, blue eyes and with freckles, who get red suntan. A melanoma family history and sunburns in childhood are also important factors.

Doctor Elżbieta Kowalska-Olędzka PhD, a dermatologist

If you are in doubt, you should always consult a dermatologist.

Moles examination is quick, painless and non-invasive. During a standard dermoscopy, the doctor examines the skin using a 10-times magnifying device. In video-dermoscopy, on the other hand, the skin mole can be magnified by 20 to 70 times, and the image can be recorded on a computer so that the pictures of unusual moles may be compared and any changes thoroughly analyzed during a follow up visit. This non-invasive method offers us the chance to diagnose melanoma at an early and curable stage.

Doctor Elżbieta Kowalska-Olędzka PhD, a dermatologist

The skin exam may be performed, among others, at the Wołoska Medicover Centre.

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