Your skin is a highly specialized organ that serves many purposes. It covers your body and protects you against germs, extreme temperatures, and excessive moisture and dryness. Your skin helps control your body temperature and also alerts your brain to danger if it senses extreme heat or cold. In addition to these functions, your skin also can provide information about your age, lifestyle, and general health. The following changes in your skin may be signs of an underlying health problem. If you notice any of these signs, contact your physician to determine if medical intervention is needed.
12. Change in Moles
Check with your doctor If you notice a sudden change in an existing mole or the development of new moles. The American Cancer Society offers the ABCDE rule to help determine if a mole is a sign of melanoma. A stands for a mole that is asymmetrical, with unmatched halves. B means a border with irregular or jagged edges. C stands for a mole that has more than one color. D represents a mole with a diameter larger than a pencil eraser. E is for evolving, which means a mole that is changing in size, shape, or appearance.
11. Lumps and Bumps
Occasionally a run-in between your knee and the edge of the coffee table can leave behind a tell-tale lump. However, you should watch for any unexplained lumps or bumps beneath your skin. Masses under the surface may have a soft consistency or feel hard when touched. They may be due to fluid-filled pockets of flesh called cysts. Other masses are lipomas, which are benign tumors made up of fatty tissue. A hematoma can form a lump as blood pools in the area and causes swelling. Notify your doctor if you detect any unexplained masses or bumps on your body.