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The best time to do this exam is after a shower or bath. You should check your skin in a room with plenty of light. You should use a full-length mirror and a hand-held mirror. It's best to begin by learning where your birthmarks, moles, and other marks are and their usual look and feel.
Check for anything new:
New mole (that looks different from your other moles)
New red or darker color flaky patch that may be a little raised
New flesh-colored firm bump
Change in the size, shape, color, or feel of a mole
Sore that does not heal
By checking your skin regularly, you will learn what is normal for you. It may be helpful to record the dates of your skin exams and to write notes about the way your skin looks. If your doctor has taken photos of your skin, you can compare your skin to the photos to help check for changes. If you find anything unusual, see your doctor.
Source: National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health. www.cancer.gov
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