Dermatologists suggest a simple, one-minute test to check your risk of skin cancer. All you have to do is count the number of moles on one arm. More than 11? Then you are at higher-than-average risk for skin cancer.
Summer might be over, but the sun’s UV rays remain. These powerful beams damage your skin year-round, even on cloudy or cold days, and act as the top cause of skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States.
Heading to the dermatologist once a year or so — especially if you know you have a high risk of melanoma — is key to staying on top of your skin health. But there’s also a super-simple way to screen for the disease at home, researchers recently said in the British Journal of Dermatology.
The test: Count the moles on your arm. Having more than 11 moles on one arm indicates a higher-than-average risk of skin cancer or melanoma. More than 100 moles adds up to five times the normal risk.
Freckles — those small, pale brown areas of skin, which can be temporary — don’t count toward your total. It’s the long-lasting moles, which can be “flat, raised, smooth or rough and may have hair growing from them,” the BBC reports, which matter.
To develop this test, scientists from King’s College London tracked 3,594 British female twins for eight years. Moles counts were collected, as well as information of skin type, hair color, eye color and freckles. There was a link between the moles on the subject’s right arm and their total moles. Mole count has long been known to be a skin-cancer risk.
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