Unfortunately, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. After performing multiple services you become more familiar with your clients skin. So spotting an unfamiliar or funny looking mole or birthmark becomes super easy. Know what to look for when you see a suspicious spot on your client.
The ABCDE Rule
- Asymmetry – shape, size and color of one part of the mole/birthmark does not match the other part of the mole/birthmark
- Border – irregular, ragged, notched or blurred edges
- Color – inconsistency in color which include brown and black. Occasionally with patches of pink, red, white or blue
- Diameter – the spot is larger than ¼ inch across – about the size of a pencil eraser
- Evolving – when the size, shape and color begin to change
Carcinomas are likely to grow on areas that are commonly exposed to the sun, but these cancers can grow anywhere!
Estheticians and their clients should be aware of:
- New spots
- Areas that itch, hurt or are tender
- An open sore that seems to be having trouble healing
- Pink and raised area with rough edges, but also has a small dip in the center
- Shiny pearly bumps which can be pink or red with blue, brown, or black areas
- Changes in the texture or surface of the mole/birthmark
- Swelling beyond the border of the mole/birthmark
Let your clients know that only a doctor can give a diagnosis, but it is always a good to schedule with a dermatologist if they have any of the concerns listed above. You can refer to our chart with images and descriptions (ABCDE RULE (1)). This would be great to have inside of a drawer in your facial room. Estheticians are not licensed to diagnose any medical conditions, but we most definitely do have a voice and can let a client know when we are concerned about an area. We are also able to deny treatment and request a doctor’s note in order to proceed with any treatments. Never be afraid to voice your concern…you could be saving someone’s life.