Monthly Self Exam
Once you know what to look for, it’s important to set aside time each month to thoroughly examine your skin. Self-exams are best performed in a brightly lit room with access to both full length and hand mirrors.
How to Perform a Monthly Melanoma Self Exam
Step 1: Looking at the mirror, examine your face, ears, neck, chest, and stomach. Women should remember to examine under their breasts. Use a comb to help examine your scalp.
Step 2: Carefully examine your fingers and hands, palms, arms, underarms. Be sure to look carefully at the fronts, backs, and sides of each arm!
Step 3: While sitting, examine the front of your legs, the top and bottom of each foot, toes, and your toenails. Use a hand mirror to look at the sides and back of each leg. This may also be helpful to see the bottom of your feet!
Step 4: Continuing to use your hand mirror, examine your lower back, buttocks, and groin region. It may be helpful to use a combination of the full length and hand mirrors if you have trouble seeing everything.
You may want to ask the help of a close friend or loved one to examine hard-to-see places on your own body.
As you get more comfortable examining your skin, you’ll form a clear roadmap of your body and its moles. This is important because it provides a baseline to help you focus your attention moving forward.
In addition to your monthly self-exam - some Primary Care doctors will also perform a skin check as part of a routine checkup.
If something is new, appears to be changing, or doesn’t seem right make an appointment to see your doctor.