Dermatology Questions? Ask an Online Dermatologist.
Yes. That should be more than adequate, especially if you learn what to look for yourself. This would allow you to get the earliest jump on any suspicious lesion.
The ABCDE’s of Melanoma: By doing a simple skin self-exam every month, you can improve your chances of finding a melanoma early.
(A) Asymmetry: One half of the area does not match the other half.
(B) Border: The edges are uneven or ragged.
(C) Color: The color is not the same all over and may have more than one shade or color present.
(D) Diameter: The size is larger than a pencil eraser (6 millimeters).
(E) Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape or color.
Seeing a specialist on a regular basis is the most important thing you can do, in addition to the self exam (and using sunscreen when outdoors, of course).
If there is a suspicious lesion, the dermatologist can do a punch biopsy (or excisional biopsy) to look for cancer cells. If present, the lesion can be removed with wide margins, and those margins can be checked by a pathologist to ensure that they are clean.
Statistically, melanoma is pretty rare at your age. Risk increases with positive family history and history of multiple sunburn events. Even so, the risk is estimated to be about 1 in 300 as per one reference. You are taking the right measures to mitigate this risk. This puts YOUR risk of something bad happening at a much lower level than the average 25 year old, who is more likely to not notice, or to ignore, a suspicious lesion.
Hi there. If you have any follow up questions, do let me know. I'd be happy to help further.