How soon should we start charting and monitoring moles on our child?
Our daughter is in second grade, and has seen the same pediatrician her whole life. While there is a history of skin cancer on my side of the family, her father's family has dark skin and hasn't had any skin disease. Our daughter has a few moles (less than 10) on her body, and her pediatrician hasn't yet charted them. Given the history on my side of the family (which is light skinned), should we chart and monitor the moles ourselves? If so, is there a free chart on the Web somewhere that is good for this? Or should we just wait for the next wellness visit and bring this question up there? Thanks for any info or advice you can offer!
if your wellness visit is once a year, I would go sooner to your pediatrician for advice. Given there is a family history of skin cancer, it makes the visit more important. Usually moles that are growing, multicolored, raised, growing black hair or are over one inch are suspect. Google the American Academy of Dermatology for more information or visit your dermatologist. In the meantime, sunscreen. it does help to measure them and/or photograph them so the medical professional can see the changes.
Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
dgraab - the member who asked this question - selected this as the best answer posted by another Education.com member.
from a fellow member
A monthly skin exam for people who have moles needs to become a routine. Since you see the moles on your daughter's skin more often than her health care provider, you are the expert! Become familiar with how those moles look ad monitor them for changes.
In assessing the moles, follow the simple ABCD rule. If you notice Asymmetry, uneven Border, changes in Color, or Diameter, have your child's provider examine the unusual mole asap. Also, any mole that is bigger than the size of a pencil's eraser, or bleeds, or starts to itch should be evaluated immediately.
To prevent moles from changing, teach your daughter to exercise sun safety by applying a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 45, reapplying it every 2 hours when outside, and staying in shade as much as possible, wearing a hat and sun glasses.