How to Check for Skin Cancer

When detected early, skin cancer is almost completely curable. That's why dermatologists recommend performing a self-check on your skin every month.

Scroll down to find out how to do it!

What You'll Need

  • Download your free self exam kit

    Printed Self Exam Kit

    You can read how to fill it out below

  • Use a pencil to describe your moles


  • Make sure the room is well-lit

    A well-lit room

  • A full-length mirror can help

    A full-length mirror

  • A hand-mirror for hard-to-see places

    A hand mirror

  • Use two chairs for best results

    Two chairs

  • Use a blow dryer

    Blow dryer

  • Ask a friend to help

    A friend or family member

    Optional but helpful

  • You won't need clothes

    No clothes

What to Write Down

Mark down size, color, texture and sensitivity level

Using your free downloadable Self Exam Kit, make a note of any moles that match up with the ABCDE's of melanoma detection.

Mark down the size, color, texture, and sensitivity level (ie. whether it itches or bleeds) of suspicious moles every month to monitor for changes.

Helpful Self-Check Tips

Use a blow dryer to move hair aside as you inspect your scalp. If possible, ask a friend or family member to help.

Use a handheld mirror to check your face, so you can scan every angle.

It's especially important to check the back of your ears, so use a hand-mirror or a friend to help.

Don't forget to look between your fingers and under nails.

Women should lift their breasts and use a handheld mirror to inspect the underside of each.

Many people forget to check their underarms during a self-check, even though moles appear there often.

To inspect the back of your body, stand with your back to a full-length mirror, and use a hand-mirror to monitor your reflection.

To inspect your genitals, sit down on a chair and prop your legs up one a time on a second chair. Then use your hand mirror.

Don't forget to check the soles of your feet, in between toes, and under toenails.

What to Do Next

See a doctor

If you discover any abnormal moles during your self-check, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist and bring your filled-out Self Exam Kit with you.

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Check next month

If everything seems normal, continue performing a thorough self-check on your body every month.

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