If you’re like most people, you don’t examine your moles or have a doctor check them periodically to see whether changes may signal a possible cancer. In fact, a survey of 476 people published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that only 25 percent reported checking their skin monthly; 17 percent reported that they did it just once a year.

That may be due, in part, to confusion over how effective regular skin checks are. So should you or a dermatologist check your skin? If so, how often? Here’s what you need to know about changing moles and the risk of skin cancer:

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