When it comes to skin cancer, it’s all about paying attention to anything that has changed or is out of the ordinary. Most people have moles, freckles, or other skin irregularities that are not signs of cancer, but if or when there is a change in your skin, you may need to get a doctor’s opinion.

The Medical Center of Aurora is a leader in healthcare. Here are some tips about how to recognize common skin cancers, and how to prevent them.

Both basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are common types of skin cancer and often appear on skin that gets lot of sun, such as the face, scalp, neck, hands and arms. However, both can also develop on less exposed areas such as the genitals or, in the case of SCC, inside the mouth or on the lip.

Melanoma is an expert at disguise, sometimes masquerading as a new mole and other times developing in an existing mole. It’s critical that you know what moles you already have and what they look like, so you can catch changes or new arrivals.

To check for skin irregularities, strip down to your birthday suit and use a mirror to examine less accessible areas of your body such as your scalp, back and buttocks. Note any changes and bring them to your doctor’s attention promptly.

Follow the following rules to protect your skin:

  • Visit your primary care physician or dermatologist once a year for a skin check. Click here to make an appointment.
  • Limit your sun time
  • Skip the tanning beds
  • Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing

This content originally appeared on Sarahcannon.com.