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How should I examine my skin for moles?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

First check with your dermatologist about how often you should examine your skin. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends doing it about once a month, "often enough to become a habit, but not frequently enough to be a bother."

The goal is to look for changes in moles that might signal early symptoms of skin cancer when it is still very treatable. In moles, look for changes in color, texture, size, border and any mole that appears after age 21. Sores that don't heal within three weeks or that itch, bleed or crust should also be reported to your dermatologist, along with changes in existing moles or the appearance of new moles. Check your whole body, and enlist a partner to check your back.

Dr. Daniel R. Spogen, MD
Family Practitioner

To examine your skin for moles, every few months you should check your skin and have someone look at your back for any new or changing moles. If you notice any new ones or ones that have changed you should have your doctor look at them to determine if they need to be removed.

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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.