You should be in the habit of checking your skin at least once a month to look for changing moles or non-healing lesions, says Dr. Tim Abou-Sayed, board-certified plastic surgeon. “Remember that the only ‘good tan’ is one you are born with that comes naturally; when you get that tan from sunning yourself at the beach, you are actually damaging your skin with the sun’s radiation,” Abou-Sayed adds.
“A melanoma, which can be fatal, may begin as something so seemingly innocent as a slightly darkened mole, so a simple self-exam of the skin can alert you that you need to go to a dermatologist for a full screening.”
Dr. Glenn Kolansky, board-certified dermatologist in Red Bank, NJ, suggests you use a mirror for the back or hard to reach places, or have a significant other assist you. "It is also important to realize that a skin exam is only good on the date it is performed. Growths can change a day, a week, or a month later," he says.