Your skin is your body’s largest organ and taking care of it is essential to your overall health. A skin checkup lets you know your skin is healthy. It can also identify any early signs skin cancer. Since there aren’t any obvious symptoms in its early stages, skin cancer often goes unnoticed. If left untreated, it can have significant consequences, including disfigurement, loss of function, and, even death in the most severe cases.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves; the good news is that the most common types of skin cancers are treatable when found early.
Let’s talk about your annual exam
Your exam starts by our staff asking you questions including your history of sun exposure and sunburns. I’ll also want to know if you have any moles or other spots that have been worrying you. Family history about skin cancer is also important to consider in your risk factor.
Your exam is head-to-toe since skin cancer can occur anywhere on your body. I’ll even check areas that don’t see a lot (or even any) sun. Between your fingers and toes and the bottoms of your feet get checked, too.
Many people have lots of spots on their skin, such as skin tags, sunspots, and even benign moles. These are usually not medically worrisome. However, if you notice a spot that doesn’t go away or a mole that’s changed, it’s time to let me look at it and see if it’s something that needs to be treated or biopsied.
Hopefully, we can give you a clean bill of skin health, or we catch something before it becomes a serious problem.
When was your last skin checkup?
You should have one every year. If you have a high risk of skin cancer because of a family history or riskier behavior such as excessive suntanning or using a tanning bed, we may recommend you come in for a checkup more often.
Keep alert for skin changes
Between exams, do self-exams and watch for any changes or growing moles, a new spot or freckle, irritated area that won’t heal, or one that bleeds. If you see any of these, please contact us to make an appointment.