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Are melanomas really in old moles?

As fall is fast approaching and summer is coming to an end, many of us begin to put seasonal protection items away until next year.  The sun’s ultraviolet rays that we protect ourselves from in the summer are still there during all seasons, and can be just as harmful.  This year, please consider leaving the sunscreen out for year-round usage.

During summer months, we tend to experience increased exposure to the sun’s damaging rays, so it’s extremely important to be aware of our own bodies, especially our skin.  We all have those questionable spots that we pay extra attention to, but who’s to say this is the best approach.  What about all the new moles we don’t notice because our attention is on those we are aware of?

In a recent article, “Study: Most melanomas don’t arise from existing moles,” the American Academy of Dermatology reviewed 38 published studies on melanomas, and found that our scary moles may not be the answer.  The AAD reported that less than one third of melanomas in the study arose from a pre-existing mole.  That leaves two thirds from new spots, that are more likely to go unnoticed.

It is important to remember that being aware of existing moles can be incredibly helpful in determining early, typically treatable, stages of melanomas.  Additionally, knowing your skin in as much detail as possible is the best way to prevent skin cancers from going unnoticed.  Using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing all year will help stop those ultraviolet rays from harming your skin.

Caitlyn