We get it. You have a lot going on, you don’t think you have any skin changes, and you may not be exactly thrilled with having someone else inspect your skin. However, this simple and fast check could be the one thing standing between you and your health. Skin cancer can easily go unnoticed, especially if it’s in a less visible part of your body. Don’t gamble your health–get your skin check on the books! If you’re feeling overwhelmed about what you should expect during your skin check appointment, we’ve got you covered. As part of our Check + Protect initiative, we want you to be as informed as possible so you can continue making the best decisions for your health! If you’ve never had a skin check before, you may be surprised at just how easy it is.
Before Your Exam
Let’s kick this off by talking about what you should do before your skin check exam. Take a few minutes to give yourself a thorough self-exam so you can let your dermatologist know about any changes that you may have noticed. Make sure that you check every nook and cranny (and yes, we mean that literally!). Some spots that should be on your radar:
Behind your ears
Under your arms
Throughout your scalp
Between your buttocks
It’s a good idea to use a full-length mirror as well as a hand mirror to get a full view of those hard-to-reach places. If you notice any new spots or blemishes, growths, or itching and bleeding, make sure that you let your dermatologist know. Some of these things aren’t anything to worry about long-term, but any changes in your skin should be reported.
During Your Exam
Your dermatologist will start your skin exam by asking some questions about any changes you’ve noticed recently or over a period of time. Next, your dermatologist will start examining your body completely to take a closer look at any changes you’ve noticed, as well as making sure that they don’t identify anything concerning. Remember, dermatologists are medical professionals, and they are skilled in handling this exam with your comfort and care in mind. The entire process takes about 10 minutes but could take longer if your dermatologist needs to take a closer look at anything worrisome if found. Your dermatologist will take special care to notice any of the following:
Changes over time
Size of moles
After Your Exam
If your dermatologist discovers a mole, the next step may be to have further testing done, including a biopsy. This test will determine if the mole is cancerous. If the mole is cancerous, then you’ll move forward with an appropriate treatment plan. This is why early detection is so important! If you’ve been putting off your skin check, it’s time to get it scheduled! The entire process is done and over within a matter of minutes, and it could very well make a difference in your overall health.
The sooner we can identify any issues, the sooner we can tackle them head-on! If you have any other questions or would like to know more, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and book an appointment!