What is a Skin Check?
A skin check is a visual exam of the skin performed by a dermatologist or health care provider. This screening checks your skin for moles or other marks that are unusual in size, shape, color, or texture. This exam is completely painless, and involves a head-to-toe assessment of your skin, including your scalp, behind your ears, fingers, toes, and more. Skin checks are very important because they ensure that your skin is healthy and there are no suspicious or atypical moles or growths present.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Skin Check?
Anyone can benefit from a skin check in order to ensure that their skin is healthy. In order to schedule your annual skin check, contact our office today!
What to Expect During a Skin Check?
During a skin check, you will be able to ask your doctor questions regarding suspicious appearing lesions. These include spots or moles that are changing, abnormal, sore, or new. You will be asked to undress and put on a medical gown. Your dermatologist will use a dermatoscope for a magnified view of any spots of concern. Your doctor will inform you whether you have any spots that require testing. This may include a small biopsy or an excision of the lesion. The mole or spot will then be sent to a dermatopathology laboratory for testing. Receiving these results may take several days. Skin checks typically take a matter of minutes, but can take up to 30 minutes to complete.
If skin cancer is found, your dermatologist will advise you on the next steps. In most cases, when skin cancer is found early, it can be successfully treated with surgery.
Following a Skin Check
As part of a complete early detection strategy, we recommend that you see a dermatologist once a year for a full-body skin exam. Individuals who may be at a higher risk for skin cancer include those who have had prior skin cancer, a history of sunburns, a large number of moles, with a light skin tone, or skin that burns easily. These individuals may benefit from more frequent examinations.
We recommend you take the following precautions to prevent skin cancer:
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 throughout the year
- Seek shade when possible
- Wear protective clothing when in bright sunlight
- Avoid spending time in the sun during peak hours (10 a.m.- 4 p.m.)
- Do not use tanning beds
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