Monday, July 19, 2010

Is Botox for you?

Because as a people, we have been in search of the fountain of youth from the beginning of mankind, we venture high and low to find treatments and products in "reversing the ravages of time". One of the most successful so far is Botox.  I am sure everyone knows someone who has had Botox injections from one time or another, and or who is even considering it themselves. (Who hasn't looked in the mirror and actually been disheartened by the development of character lines and said,"gosh, I need a face-lift!") Although, we are not all completely convinced by the idea of injecting foreign toxins into our skin, there is much debate whether or not the long term effects of constant injections is actually beneficial or not. So, let's just look at some facts:
  • Botox is a substance which is derived from that of botulism toxin, which is the same type that causes food poisoning, however the amount used here is simply a fraction of the amount that is able to cause food poisoning; this works by preventing nerve impulses from reaching the muscle, thus causing the muscle to 'relax'.
  • Side effects include feeling sore and bruised around the area where the doctor injected the Botox, and in a minority of cases there may also be minor hemorrhaging. (There may also be some pain initially during the injections). It is possible to experience recurrent headaches or nausea in the week following the procedure, and in the worst case scenarios, people may also develop flu-like symptoms. These side effects are believed to affect less than 10 percent of those treated with Botox, with the more severe side effects being much less common.
  • Rare complications of Botox injections include ‘drooping’ or muscle weakness. The problems vary according to where the injection was administered and are mostly caused by being the dose of Botox being too great. For instance, if a high dose is injected into the crow’s feet around the eyes then the patient may have problems blinking. About 1 percent of patients having Botox treatment to correct frown lines experience drooping of the eye lid or, where injections were given above the lips, they may have uncontrollable drooling from the side of the mouth. As the results of Botox are temporary these unpleasant side effects should wear off over a period of 3 to 4 months.
  • There are a number of people who are at greater risks of complications resulting from Botox injections who should therefore avoid treatment. This includes people with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, bleeding disorders or people taking certain forms of medications. There is a lack of conclusive studies into the effects of Botox treatment on pregnant women or on breastfeeding mothers. Therefore, it is considered best to err on the side of caution and avoid treatment during this period to avoid harmful effects to the mother or child.
Although the term Botox is quite common and well-known, surprisingly then is the fact of how very few people actually know much about the details regarding and surrounding it. There are many things that need to be taken into consideration in regards to Botox, such as who can use Botox for example, and so even if you are not considering having a procedure done such as this, it is still important for you to know as much about this for your decision making in the future.

And remember, a qualified medical practitioner should always be consulted if you are considering Botox treatment. Be sure to advise them of any pre-existing medical conditions or if you are taking medication, as you may be precluded from the procedure for safety reasons. Your doctor should also thoroughly explain the risks you are undergoing so that you may weigh up the benefits against the dangers. Botox is a prescription treatment and as such is best administered by a licensed professional for your own wellbeing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Time to Exfoliate

Recently, I have had many people complain about their skin "suddenly" breaking out and having issues with an increase of "acne-like" pimples and cysts. Unfortunately, there are so many factors that could contribute to this problem, that if I were to address them all, I would be writing a book at this point. However, with the onset of this remarkably hot and humid weather, it seems that a course in exfoliation might be just the key to controlling some of these pop-up breakouts.


The many benefits of exfoliation

The primary function of the epidermis is “to keep the insides in and the outside out”, and without proper exfoliation, dead skin cells(and whatever bacteria that comes in contact with) can get trapped on the skin’s surface. When they’re trapped, they build up, and keep all the nastiness IN. Mild daily exfoliation enables the skin to shed this unwanted layer more effectively and better absorb additional daily cosmeceutical ingredients.


The life of a skin cell

From beginning to end, the life cycle of every skin cell you have is about 28-30 days. During the last week of this cycle, cells become flaky and dull. Our skin works hard to shed these dead cells, but this process takes longer and longer as we age. That’s why using a product to exfoliate skin is key.

Life of a skin cell

Week 1:
A cell is “born” – bright, new and healthy. This layer is regenerative (it is closest to blood flow in the dermis) and provides color to the skin.

Week 2: Here, the skin cell still maintains a healthy color. Its shape becomes more irregular as it begins to accumulate toughening proteins — preparing to become part of your body’s most protective barrier.

Week 3: The mature cell has now broken down a bit with age. It is wider, flatter, and adheres strongly to other cells. This cell is tough and protective.

Week 4: It only takes a few weeks for this once healthy skin cell to become flaky, dehydrated and colorless. This final stage consists of about 10 to 30 sub-layers of dead cells. Two to three of these layers are shed daily. Exfoliation will help the process.


Chemical vs. physical exfoliation

Physical vs. 
Chemical Exfoliation

What part of the skin do you exfoliate when you exfoliate skin?

A. The top “protective” layer of skin, A.K.A the epidermis. It’s made up of both living and dead cells, and they’re always growing and dividing. When this happens, cells are pushed up to the top layers of your skin, where they eventually die and flake off. BUT – did you know that as you age, your ability to shed dead skin cells decreases? So they pile up and cause problems like clogged pores and an overall dull tone, and the more build-up, the harder it is to keep your skin hydrated, moisturized, and clear. Time to exfoliate skin with the right skin care product!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Is Sun Exposure Really Good or Bad?

By now, I hope everyone is having a terrific summer and enjoying the gorgeous sunny days and not to mention, the beach trips. 
So, we know that the sun causes cancer, but we also know that we need sun for vitamin D development, right? ( I know, you're thinking,"not another skin cancer blog",but I cannot even begin to tell you how serious this situation is.) However, as much information there is out there about whether or not the sun is actually good for you, I thought that this Video from Dr. Jeffrey Benabio at Kaiser Permanente would shed some light onto the debate.

So all you tanners out there take heed, and if you are playing in the sun, be safe while having fun!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Can Sunscreen cause Cancer?

This is crazy, I just read an article that said certain sunscreens can cause cancer. To think, we have all been programmed over and over that sunscreens are a MUST to prevent cancer, and now, THIS?
The story originated from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization that “protect(s) the most vulnerable… from health problems attributed to a wide array of toxic contaminants.”
EWG announced their list of best and worst sunscreens, and also published a statement that claims creams which contain a vitamin A derivative (retinyl palmitate), increase the risk of skin cancer in laboratory mice. However, the creams studied were not sunscreens, but rather simple cream with retinyl palmitate. Because many sunscreens contain retinyl palmitate, the EWG is urging the FDA to study this further and is also urging people to avoid sunscreens with vitamin A derivatives in the meantime. Some sunscreens contain retinyl or retinols as a “wrinkle-fighting” ingredient in the sunscreen. But the Skin Cancer foundation says: "Consumers should rest assured that sunscreen products are safe and effective when used as directed."
So what to do now? Here are some clues:
  • Ultraviolet light from the sun is radiation and is unquestionably the most important cause of skin cancer.
  • Sunscreens in general do not cause skin cancer.
  • No study has yet looked at retinyl palmitate when used in a sunscreen.
  • It is reasonable to avoid sunscreens that contain retinyl or other vitamin A derivatives until more studies are done, if you’re concerned.
  • Choose a sunscreen with SPF15 or higher. Look for zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, ecamsule (Mexoryl) or octocrylene.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Are you taking Vitamin D?

The sun contributes significantly to the daily production of vitamin D, and as little as 10 minutes of exposure is thought to be enough to prevent deficiencies. The term "vitamin D" refers to several different forms of this vitamin. Two forms are important in humans: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants. Vitamin D3 is synthesized by humans in the skin when it is exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from sunlight. Foods may also be fortified with vitamin D2 or D3. The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus and aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. Recently, research also suggests vitamin D may provide protection from osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, and several autoimmune diseases.
Since vitamin D is essential for strong bones and a healthy immune system, we should all strive to get as much of this new old vitamin. Furthermore, while a limited amount of vitamin D can be obtained from exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, the health risks of UV exposure — including skin cancer — are great. Instead, The Skin Cancer Foundation suggests you get our recommended daily 1,000 IU (international units) of vitamin D a day from food sources like oily fish, fortified dairy products and cereals, and supplements. 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bikini's beware!

Ahhhh, finally the warmer weather is here and of course it's BIKINI WAX season! For all those who have endured the dreaded brazilian wax, or even ever thought of receiving the service, there must be a plethora of crazy stories and myths that are lurking in all girlish circles. I have managed to hear quite a few "nightmarish" ones myself, and thought that I would have others post some experiences and/or concerns here of their own, if willing. To begin, I'll start by telling a story where a person goes to a reputable salon/spa and requests a full blown brazilian, only to get a horrifying trip to the emergency room all caused from someone who wasn't paying enough attention and apparently ripped things off that were not meant to be removed. (ouch!) If that wasn't painful enough, here is another True story of a person who couldn't make it to a professional and decided to take care of it with a "home waxing kit" Needless to say, it didn't go quite as planned... check it out!

So, as you can see, this is not to be done when you are in doubt.
So, if you dare, and want to share a funny and/or a horrific story about a waxing experience, this is the place to vent!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The ugly "Acne"

Let's face it, most of us have somehow come in contact with this ugly condition we know as Acne. For some of us, it becomes such an embarrassing neon sign, that we try drastic cover-up measures, which honestly can make the condition worse. 
Acne is a common skin condition producing pimples on the face and upper torso and is caused by a buildup of dead skin cells, bacteria, and dried sebum that block the hair follicles in the skin. It is usually in the form of  pimples, cysts, and sometimes abscesses form on the skin, commonly found on the face, chest, shoulders, or back. It is usually caused by an interaction between hormones, skin oils, and bacteria, which results in inflammation of hair follicles. Both cysts and abscesses are pus-filled pockets, but abscesses are somewhat larger and deeper.

Sebaceous glands, which secrete an oily substance (sebum), lie in the dermis, the middle layer of skin. These glands are attached to the hair follicles. Sebum, along with dead skin cells, passes up from the sebaceous gland and hair follicle and out to the surface of the skin through the pores.

When a collection of dried sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria clog the hair follicles, it blocks the sebum from leaving through the pores and acne is formed. If the blockage is incomplete, a blackhead (open comedone) develops (often turning dark due to pollutants in the environment); but if the blockage is complete, a whitehead (closed comedone) develops. The blocked sebum-filled hair follicle promotes overgrowth of the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, which is normally present in the hair follicle. This bacterium breaks down the sebum into substances that irritate the skin. The resulting inflammation produces the skin eruptions that are commonly known as acne pimples. Deeper inflammation produces cysts and sometimes an abscess.

Acne occurs mainly during puberty, when the sebaceous glands are stimulated by increased hormone levels,  resulting in excessive sebum production. By a person's early to mid-20s, hormone production stabilizes and acne usually disappears, (but as we all know that is not always true). Other conditions that involve hormonal changes can affect the occurrence of acne as well. For example, acne may occur with each menstrual period in women and may clear up or substantially worsen during pregnancy. The use of certain drugs, particularly corticosteroids and anabolic steroids, can cause acne by stimulating the sebaceous glands. Certain cosmetics may worsen acne by clogging the pores.

Balancing personal and professional responsibilities makes this generation of adults the most time-compressed generation in history, which contributes to chronic stress: the constant, continued and heightened level of stress that throws our adrenal glands into overdrive, which in turn can boost sebum production, setting the stage for acne development. Because acne naturally varies in severity for most people—sometimes worsening, sometimes improving—pinpointing the factors that may produce an outbreak is difficult. Acne is often worse in the winter and better in the summer, maybe because of sunlight's anti-inflammatory effect. There is no relationship, however, between acne and specific foods or sexual activity (in case you were wondering).

Most acne occurs on the face but is also common on the shoulders, back, and upper chest. Using Anabolic steroids typically cause acne on the shoulders and upper back, but of course, hormonal changes can also contribute to this. Typically, there are three levels of acne severity: mild, moderate, and severe. Yet even mild acne can be vexing, especially to teenagers, who see each pimple as a major cosmetic challenge.
Adult cases of acne are often more persistent and more inflammatory than teenage cases. Adult acne is also often accompanied by sensitized skin, or a combination of skin conditions, which makes treatment more challenging. To successfully treat, clear and prevent Adult acne, the causes leading to acne development must be first be controlled; but don’t turn to popular treatments for teenage acne that may be too harsh and irritating.

Acne causing Ingredients:
Lanolin: Derived from the words "lana" for wool and "oleum" for oil, Lanolin is a fatty substance obtained from the sheep’s wool.  While it’s a known emollient with moisturizing properties, it can have skin-clogging capabilities, triggering the cycle of breakouts.
Fragrance: Artificial fragrances can increase acne infection, skin sensitization and photosensitivity.
D & C red pigments: Some of these dyes, which are coal tar derivatives, have exhibited highly comedogenic and acnegenic properties.
Mineral Oil: Mineral Oil physically blocks water loss in the Stratum corneum of the skin layer.  It’s used in many products, however, has been shown to cause and exacerbate acne.

Acne is curable but sometimes takes more than just an over-the-counter product or treatment to work. Contact your physician or you can find out more information at these:
American Academy of Dermatology
Phone: (847) 330-0230, (202) 842-3555, (866) 503-SKIN (7546)
American Society for Dermatologic Surgery
Phone: (800) 441-2737, (847) 956-0900
American Osteopathic College of Dermatology
Phone: (800) 449-2623

Monday, March 22, 2010

Only Moley!

Moles are harmless skin growths that may be flat or protruding. They vary in color from pink flesh tones to dark brown or black. Everyone has moles; some of us have a lot, others have only a few. Rarely a mole can become cancerous. If you have a mole which is marching out of step with your other moles, you should have it checked immediately by your doctor.
Skin Mole
The number of moles depends on our genes. Moles sometimes appear in "crops," especially during the early teens, and no one really knows why we get moles.
Pregnancy can cause moles, to get bigger, but if one is getting bigger faster then the others, have it checked by your doctor.

Most moles are harmless and safe to ignore, but if you would like to try and get rid of them, there are some ways out there. Treating a mole for cosmetic reasons is a simple procedure. After numbing the skin, the projecting part of the mole is removed with scissors or a scalpel, and the wound heals to leave a flat mole, with the color generally staying the same. Complete destruction of a mole requires removing the full thickness of skin. The resulting scar may be more noticeable than the mole was. Moles sometimes grow annoying coarse hair, and it may be safely removed by shaving or plucking. Permanent removal of the hair, which has roots deep within the skin, requires electrolysis or complete surgical removal of the mole.
In any case, it is recommended that the mole is removed professionally by a physician. 
A mole that bleeds, itches, markedly changes color, has an unusual appearance, or changes in any way should be checked by your doctor immediately.

Monday, March 8, 2010

What the Vajajay is up with Vajazzling?

It turns out that the Brazilian wax is aparently outdated in 2009, and there’s a new fangled movement towards going “completely bare with flair”, otherwise known as “Vajazzling”. Recently, on the George Lopez Show, actress Jennifer Love Hewitt gushed about "vajazzling," a new trend in ladies' intimate fashion that involves rounding out a brazilan bikini wax with the decorative application of Swarovski crystals. The procedure, which is offered in certain spas in New York City for about $115, including the cost of the bikini wax and your choice of crystal design, takes about 45 minutes. The decoration is applied to the freshly waxed skin using an adhesive on the back of the crystals—which are applied in a large pattern or, in the case of certain detailed designs, are also individually hand-placed—and the glitzy result is supposed to last about five days.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What? Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a relatively common, acquired loss of pigmentation of the skin, affecting 1% to 2% of the population.  Destruction of melanocytes, or pigment cells, occurs and the skin becomes white.  The most common sites of pigment loss are body folds (like the groin or armpits), around body openings, and exposed areas like the face or hands.  It can also develop at sites of injury: cuts, scrapes, and burns.
Vitiligo can begin at any age, but in half of all affected patients, its onset is noted before the age of 20.  It can be associated with a number of autoimmune conditions, such as thyroid disease and diabetes.  Most people with vitiligo are in good health and have no symptoms other than areas of pigment loss.  Although the precise cause is unknown, genetic factors, autoimmune factors, trauma to the skin and anxiety or stress can be associated.  Vitiligo is not infectious and cannot be spread to other people.  People with melanoma can occasionally develop vitiligo. Research on the cause continues.

What does vitiligo look like?
The diagnosis is based on clinical examination where asymptomatic white areas are present with well defined edges.  Lesions can be either local or general and the distribution is usually symmetrical.  White hairs can occur within an area of vitiligo and early graying or whitening of scalp hair, eyelashes, eyebrows and beard hair can also occur, as well also occur around  the eye.

Can vitiligo spread?
Vitiligo can remain localized and stable indefinitely, or it may progress slowly or rapidly.  There is no way to predict this.  Factors that have been suggested may include emotional distress, physical illness, severe sunburn, and pregnancy.  De-pigmented areas may sometimes spontaneously re-pigment.

The emotional impact of vitiligo
The cosmetic disfigurement, particularly in darker-skinned people, can have profound psychological effects.  Low self esteem, depression and job discrimination have been reported, and vitiligo can therefore ultimately alter lifestyles, create social barriers and limit employment opportunities.  It is therefore important to find treatment for these individuals.

Can my children inherit vitiligo?
There seems to be a hereditary component to vitiligo – 10% have a family history.  Many people do not realize that anyone in their family has even had vitiligo.  Children of people with vitiligo have a higher probability of developing vitiligo than children from families with no history of the condition.  This, however, does not mean that these children will definitely inherit vitiligo.  In most cases of vitiligo, there is no family history.

Is there a cure for vitiligo?
The answer at this time is no.  Vitiligo is probably caused by a variety of factors interacting in specific ways.  Research has advanced the understanding of the physical and psychosocial aspects of vitiligo, but the cause and cure are unknown. A specialist or dermatologist is the best person to assess and manage vitiligo. Unfortunately, the treatment of vitiligo is prolonged and progress is slow. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A word about Eczema

This has been one of the driest and coldest winters in a long time, so many of us are being plagued with all kinds of dry skin issues. Some of us have even have to deal with chronic skin conditions that are sometimes uncomfortable to look at as well as feel. Eczema is one term for several different types of skin scaling and rashes and is also called dermatitis. And although it is not dangerous, most types can cause red, swollen and itchy skin. Some factors that could cause eczema include: other diseases, irritating substances, allergies and your genetic makeup. Eczema, however, is not contagious, and you are more likely to have eczema if you have a family history of the condition.
Some forms of eczema can be triggered by substances that come in contact with the skin, such as soaps, cosmetics, clothing, detergents, jewelry, or sweat. Environmental allergens (substances that cause allergic reactions) may also cause outbreaks of eczema. Changes in temperature or humidity, or even psychological stress, can lead to outbreaks of eczema in some people.

The most common type of eczema is called atopic dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction and is often very itchy. But when you scratch it, the skin becomes red and inflamed, and seems to get worse. This skin condition affects adults and children, but it is most common in babies. Although you cannot cure eczema,  you can prevent some types of eczema by avoiding irritants, stress, and the things you are allergic to. 

Limit your contact with things that can irritate your skin.
Some things that may irritate your skin include household cleansers, detergents, aftershave lotions, soap, gasoline, turpentine and other solvents. Try to avoid contact with things that make you break out with eczema. Soaps and wetness can cause skin irritation. Wash your hands only when necessary and use a mild soaps, especially if you have eczema on your hands. Dry your hands completely after you wash them.

Wear gloves to protect the skin on your hands
Wear vinyl or plastic gloves for work that requires you to have your hands in water. Also, wear gloves when your hands will be exposed to anything that can irritate your skin. Wear cotton gloves under plastic gloves to soak up sweat from your hands. Take occasional breaks and remove your gloves to prevent a buildup of sweat inside your gloves.
Wear gloves when you go outside during the winter. Cold air and low humidity can dry your skin, and dryness can make your eczema worse.

Wear clothes made of cotton or a cotton blend
Wool and some synthetic fabrics can irritate your skin. 
Use moisturizers that are more greasy than creamy, because these will evaporate less in drier conditions.
Regular use of a moisturizer can help prevent the dry skin that is common in winter.

Learn how to manage stress in your life
Eczema can flare up when you are under stress. Learn how to recognize and cope with stress.

Continue skin care even after your skin has healed
The area where you had the eczema may easily get irritated again, so it needs special care. Continue to follow these tips even after your skin has healed.

Monday, February 15, 2010


 About 2 months ago, I found out that a good friend of mine went to the doctor due to a nagging backache that would not go away: Upon being examined by the physician, she was immediately admitted into the  hospital. As fate would have it, a tumor was found growing on her spine, and they discovered along with it that she had a  melanoma on her back that had grown into a stage 4!

Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer. At least 40 percent of all Americans who live to be 65 will be diagnosed with skin cancer at least once in their lives. Fortunately, most skin cancers are not serious and the vast majority can be cured, usually by simple procedures performed in a doctor's office. But this does not mean that skin cancer is something that people do not need to take seriously. If skin cancer is not detected and treated promptly, it can spread. (like my friend's) At the very least, this means that more extensive surgery, leading to greater scarring, will be needed. In the worst case, it can mean serious complications. Some types of skin cancer, especially melanoma, can be fatal.
So, here is some information about the 3 types of skin cancers and what they look like, but also, I encourage EVERYONE to get skin screenings annually. 
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common of the 3 types of skin cancer, and the easiest to treat because it almost never spreads. Basal cell carcinoma is generally characterized by either a waxy bump that can appear on your face or neck, or a brown or flesh-colored mark that looks like a scar on your back or chest. In most cases of basal cell carcinoma, the damaged tissue is removed by either freezing or cutting out the tissue. It is generally done right in the doctor’s office with a local anesthesia, and involves minimal discomfort.
Signs of basal cell carcinoma
1)An open sore that sheds blood, oozes out or crusts, and continues to stay open for three or more weeks. A lasting, non-healing sore is a very usual early manifestation.
2) A reddish patch or an irritated area, frequently occurring on the chest, shoulders, arms or legs. Sometimes the patch crusts. It may also itch or hurt. At additional times, it persists without any detectable discomfort.
3) A smooth growth with an elevated, rolled border and an indentation in the center. As the growth slowly enlarges, tiny blood vessels may develop on the surface.
4) A shiny bump (or nodule) that is pearly or translucent and is frequently pink, red or white. The bump can also be tan, black or brown, especially in dark-haired people, and can be confused with a mole.
5) A scar-like area (white, yellow, or waxy in appearance) which often has poorly delineated borders. The skin itself seems shiny or taut. Although a less frequent sign, it can indicate the presence of an aggressive tumor.
Squamous Cell Skin Cancer Carcinoma
This is the second most common of the 3 types of skin cancers, and is often as easy to treat as basal cell carcinomas. However, squamous cell skin cancer carcinoma is slightly more likely to spread to other areas, usually to the surrounding tissue of the skin. The squamous cell skin cancer is characterized by a red nodule that can appear on your face, neck, hands or arms. This bump is generally firm to the touch, and can also show up on your lips or ears. It can also look like a scaly, crusty lesion that will appear on the same areas.
 Squamous Cell Skin Cancer signs
1)A persistent, scaly red patch with atypical borders that occasionally crusts or bleeds.
2)An open sore that bleeds and crusts and endures for weeks.
3)An raised growth with a central depression that on occasion bleeds. A growth of this type may rapidly increase in size.
4)A wart-like growth that crusts and occasionally bleeds.

Melanoma is the least common of the types of skin cancer, but it can become the most serious if left untreated. Of the 3 types of skin cancers, this is the one that can spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes and other organs. When it spreads (metastasizes) in this manner, it becomes significantly more difficult to treat. That is why early detection of melanoma symptoms is so important, and why you should get into your doctor every year for regular skin cancer screenings.
Melanoma symptoms sometimes are referred to as ABCDE:
  • A is for asymmetrical shape. Look for moles with irregular shapes, such as two very different-looking halves.
  • B is for irregular border. Look for moles with irregular, notched or scalloped borders — the characteristics of melanomas.
  • C is for changes in color. Look for growths that have many colors or an uneven distribution of color.
  • D is for diameter. Look for new growth in a mole larger than about 1/4 inch (6 millimeters).
  • E is for evolving. Look for changes over time, such as a mole that grows in size or that changes color or shape. Moles may also evolve to develop new signs and melanoma symptoms, such as new itchiness or bleeding.