Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"I recently found a red spot under my arm. Do you have any ideas on what this is?"
Hi, I am 17 years old and I recently found a red spot under my arm. It appears to be peeling but it's not. It's not itchy and it doesn't burn. It's been on my arm for about 2 weeks. Do you have any ideas on what it could be?
Bumps and colored lesions can be due to o a variety of things: from simple things such as a freckle to serious diseases such as melanoma. Thus, if a new lesion appears anywhere, it is important to see your primary care doctor to examine it. You may need to be referred to a dermatologist, which are the kind of doctors who takes care of the skin. For any pigmented lesion (colored lesions in the skin), is important to know whether it is a melanoma. Melanoma are skin cancers that can affect people of all ages. The main risk factors are sun exposure (although the lesions themselves can appears in areas that are not exposed to the sun such as the arm pits and the bottom of the feet) and family history. The ABCDE's of skin lesions help clue in whether a lesion may be a melanoma: A for asymmetry. Asymmetric lesions are more likely to be a melanoma. B for borders: irregular borders are worrisome. C for color. Different colors in the lesion also is more worrisome. D for diameter. If the dimeter is greater than 6 mm (1/4 of an inch) is also concerning. Finally E for evolving. If the lesion is changing or rapidly growing, it is a cause of concern. Depending on people's insurance they can go directly to see a dermatologist. Otherwise, a primary care visit is extremely important in your case as melanomas can be curable if found early in the course of the disease.
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