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Remember your ABCDEs – Skin Cancer Awareness

Topic: Skin health

Tags: skin care recommendations skin changes skin health


Our skin can often change over time, especially when it comes to moles and skin lesions. Taking regular, cautionary checks is vital for the future of your skin health.

Keeping track of your skin over time can help you quickly identify irregular changes and seek the right advice and support. Using the ABCDE method will provide you with simple, consistent criteria to assess your skin. We recommend keeping notes and photos – this will give your GP more information should you ever need to see them. Always seek medical advice if you have concerns, or if you notice any of the following changes within your skin.

A is for Asymmetry

Is your mole or skin lesion a non-uniformed shape? If so, this could be a warning sign.

Break it into quadrants (quarters) – do all 4 quarters look the same?


B is for Border

Cancerous moles can have an irregular border.

C is for Colour

More than one colour can also indicate melanoma.

D is for Diameter

A diameter larger than 6mm can be another indicator of a suspicious skin lesion.

E is for Evolution

Watch for changes, specifically, rapid changes. Rapid changes in a skin lesion are a sign of something irregular.

Important: Please Read

The images above have been selected as a visual aid. Moles can vary, and yours may look different to these examples. If you are worried about your moles or skin lesions, please book an appointment with your GP for an examination. It is better to be on the safe side.

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)


Begins in the bottom of the epidermis (outermost layer of skin).

Most common. Accounts for around 75 in 100 skin cancers.

Threat level
Low risk to life. Treatment is still vital to ensure long-term health of your skin.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)


Begins in the upper layers of the epidermis (outermost layer of skin).

Less common – accounts for roughly 20 in every 100 skin cancers.

Threat level
Low, but in rare cases, an SCC can metastasise (spread of cancer cells from the place where they first formed to another part of the body).


Begins in the melanocytes (cells responsible for producing melanin/skin pigmentation).

Less common but is the most common cause of skin cancer-related deaths.

Threat level
Cancer Research UK found that melanoma skin cancer is the 20th most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for 1% of all cancer deaths (2017-2019). Melanoma has a high risk of metastasising too (spread of cancer cells from the place where they first formed to another part of the body).


Wear Sunscreen

Mineral-based sunscreen, such as the CellDerma sunscreen range, is powered by Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide for superior UV protection.

Our range includes Tinted Mineral for an even skin tone, Ultralight Mineral for virtually no grey hue, and Pure Mineral for anti-ageing benefits.

Avoid The Sun

Seek shade, when possible, even if you have sunscreen on.

Cover Up!

Wear good, protective clothing to cover your skin. This helps reduce the surface area of skin on show, lessening your risk of skin damage and genetic mutations within the skin cells.

Keep Your Hat On

Wear a hat – this helps to protect your scalp, which rarely sees sunscreen application.

Stay Away From Tanning Beds

Avoid using tanning beds. These artificial sources emit a very high amount of UVA rays that will damage the skin quickly.

Tanning beds are 10-15 times stronger than the midday sun in the Mediterranean Sea. Indoor tanning has a plethora of negative health effects, many of which are involved in cancerous processes.

Tanning beds have been shown to increase the risk of cutaneous malignant melanoma – a skin cancer with poor prognosis when diagnosed at an advanced stage.

Reduce the harm you inflict on your skin. Think of your skin like your other organs – you wouldn’t inhale toxic levels of fumes for your lung health, or consume dangerous levels of poison for your digestive health.

Remember your ABCDEs!

Examine your skin regularly using the ABCDE method.