Connect The Dots: 3 Areas Not To Miss When Checking Your Moles
Everyone knows to be on the lookout for oddly shaped and colored moles, due to their being a sign of skin cancer — but there are a few key spots you might be passing over in your mole check. So if you're wondering what a few areas not to miss when checking yourself for these pesky signs of skin cancer, then here's what you need to know.
On Your Back
Often when you're checking your moles after a shower or before getting dressed, you might forget to check your back, starting from the base of your skull down to your buttocks. While this is understandable — those are areas hard to see even with a mirror — and they also tend to get the most sun, as it's hard to apply sunscreen onto your back by yourself.
A full-length mirror or large hand mirror can be helpful to find your back moles, but another set of eyes is even better — especially since any moles on the back of your neck will disappear as you crane your neck to see them.
Around Your Genitalia/Private Areas
Most people don't spend a ton of time checking the skin around their genitals or other parts normally covered by underwear, but that neglect can lead to miss moles that should be checked out by your doctor as a potential danger. This is where a significant other or family member could come in handy, as they can see parts that you might have trouble checking out.
A commonly missed area is underneath a woman's breasts; as the number of moles on a woman's body seems to lift her breast cancer risk, it's important to check for moles along the bra line that might be irritated or torn due to undergarments, along with checkin the genital region on both men and women.
Beneath Your Nails
One place where dangerous moles can lurk is beneath your fingernails and toenails — and they can be incredibly difficult to spot if you're not paying close attention to them. Besides checking for the black marker-like strip that can occur on your nail from base to tip, a possible sign of skin cancer, you'll want to check out dark spots that could be moles as well.
While your nails themselves can't grow moles, your nail beds can, and, especially in warmer climates where gloves and close-toed shoes are less common for most of the year, it's very likely that your fingernails and toenails get a fair amount of sun. If you notice any discoloration, it's best to check with your doctor; you'd rather pay for a checkup to assure you that your health is good than ignore a possible sign of cancer, after all.