The Right Way to Examine Your Skin

Guide to how to check your body for suspicious moles.

1. Use a full-length mirror and a hand mirror that allow you to inspect every part of your skin once a month. If you can’t see an area yourself, enlist the help of your spouse, a family member, or someone else who is close to you.

2. Examine your body front and back, right and left sides with arms raised, then check your forearms, upper underarms, and palms carefully. Don’t forget to examine your feet, including the soles and spaces between your toes.

3. Check the nails for changes or discolored spots in the underlying flesh. Also check the lower back, buttocks, and the scalp, especially if you are bald or have thin spots.

4. Create a body map on which you note the size and placement of moles, skin tags, and other anomalies. Then during monthly skin self-examinations, check this map for any new moles and growths and inspect old ones for any changes.

5. Have a doctor investigate any suspicious findings.

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