Pay Attention to Your Child’s Moles

your child’s moles change all the time. They can darken, fade away, or grow along with your child. These changes are fairly common as your child grows up. While it’s rare for children to develop melanoma, it is still a good idea to be on the lookout for any possible malignant changes that happen to your child’s moles. So when should you take your child to a dermatologist? What should you be on the look out for when it comes to your child’s moles?

First, you have to remember the ABCDEs of melanoma: Asymmetry, Border that’s irregular, Color that is not uniform, Diameter that is larger than a pencil eraser, and Evolution that is drastic. On top of those, you have to keep in mind that pediatric melanoma presents its symptoms differently than adult melanoma. Pediatric melanoma may not have a brown or black pigmentation associated with adult melanoma, and it may look like a wart.

Just like yourself, you should also regularly check your child’s moles to see if there are any dramatic shifts of changes in their appearance. This includes any sort of bleeding or inflammation, or if the mole becomes raised, or if it grows too large in a small amount of time. You should also check your child’s skin for other lesions that may look suspicious or are not healing as these may be potentially harmful as well. Remember that when it comes to your child, it is better to be safe than sorry.

A good tip to keep track of your child’s moles or skin markings (like birthmarks) is to take pictures of them periodically, and if you can compare any possible changes that you may suspect have happened, or if any new ones have suddenly popped up. This is helpful for your dermatologist visits as it provides context for your skincare provider about your concerns.

As usual, prevention is better than treatment, so all the precautions regarding sun protection that apply to you should also apply to your child. This means that your child should always use sunscreen whenever they are out in the sun, and that it should be reapplied regularly for continuous protection. Your child should also wear protective clothing at all time to avoid direct sun exposure of their skin. The best prevention is to avoid the sun, or if your child has to be outside, then they should seek shade to avoid direct exposure.

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