"In general, any spot that is flaking, growing quickly, bleeding, sore or turning red or black should be evaluated by a dermatologist," Dr. Lambert said. "This is especially important if you have fair skin or a history of significant sun exposure or sunburns. The amount of sun exposure is directly related to the risk of skin cancer, but there are also certain types of cancer that run in families, such as melanoma. These can occur in areas with relatively little sun exposure.
"Another good rule of thumb is that, if a suspicious spot has not resolved within 1 month, it should probably be evaluated as well.
"To summarize, if a suspicious lesion is persistent, growing, sore or bleeding, changing colors, or has any other symptoms, evaluation by a dermatologist will result in earlier detection and treatment if a skin cancer is present or if a lesion turns out to be benign, it will provide peace of mind."
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