Published 26 days ago, by Roeland Pater

Once again it has become clear why it’s important to be aware of how your skin looks. You are probably already checking for any changes of the moles on your body. Which is a wise thing to do. But it turns out that moles and skin spots that are ‘new’ are even more important to look for. As a new study indicates that most skin cancers come from these new arrivals.

Scientists from the University of Modena studies a total of 20,126 melanoma skin cancers in 38 previously published studies. What they discovered is that 71% of those cases came from new moles and skin lesions.

Knowing your own skin and self-checking regularly

As both existing and new moles and spots are important to monitor – how do you know in such detail about your skin? The answer is simply to perform regular self-checks. Take some time to go over your skin, perhaps with the help of a partner of close friend – and try to ‘map’ how your skin looks.

When it comes to existing moles, make sure to notice any changes. And when you self-check on a regular basis, you will see that you start noticing spots that are new to your skin. In both cases it’s time to take a closer look. You can use the SkinVision app to perform a risk assessment, and know at the right time if you need to visit a doctor.

Dr. Caterina Longo, the lead author of the study, explains: “These results could indicate that patients who monitor their existing moles for suspicious changes could detect melanoma in its early stages, when it’s most treatable.”

“Because the disease is more likely to appear as a new growth, however, it’s important for everyone to familiarize themselves with all the moles on their skin and look for not only changes to those moles but also any new spots that may appear.”

Longo’s full findings were published this week in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.