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How should I check my skin for melanoma?

It's best to conduct a melanoma self-exam monthly. This includes checking your entire body. Even if areas of your body are usually not in sunlight, it does not mean those areas are free from moles or other skin changes. Here are guidelines for how to check your body from top to bottom:
  • Use a mirror.
  • Check your head and face. Use a blow dryer to aid in checking your scalp.
  • Check hands, arms, elbows, and underarms.
  • Check your neck, chest, and torso. Women should lift and check under their breasts.
  • Check the back of your neck, back, buttocks, and legs.
  • Check legs and feet (including bottoms of feet).
  • Sitting down, use a mirror to examine genitals.
  • Look for darkening of fingernails and/or toenails.
  • Ask your doctor to assess your skin for melanoma during routine exams.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.