Along with outdoor happy hours and weekends at the beach, summertime calls for an important reminder of skin cancer risk. Since you’re probably spending more time in the sun wearing less clothes, it’s important to take note of any new or different growths on your skin.
“Most skin cancers really are not symptomatic,” Aleksandar Sekulic, M.D., principal for Stand Up To Cancer’s Melanoma Research Alliance Dream Team and Mayo Clinic dermatologist, tells SELF. That means a cancerous spot won’t hurt, or even itch most of the time. “Occasionally people will say a red and scaly spot has become more red and tender, but most true cancers are asymptomatic.”
So how can you tell if a spot is suspicious? “What to look for depends on which skin cancer,” Sekulic says. Here, he lays out the biggest signs, so you can be wary of any potential red flags.