According to the American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD), approximately one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their life. Fortunately, early detection greatly increases survival rates and the amount of scarring left behind.
For these reasons, it’s important to schedule your annual skin exam soon, preferably before summer begins.
Who Needs an Annual Skin Exam?
Everyone should have a full-body skin check performed every year. While this may seem like hypochondria, especially for people with no history of cancer or suspicious skin growths, there’s one very important reason for such caution: every year, 10,000 Americans die of melanoma.
That’s just one variety of skin cancer. What’s even sadder is that melanoma has a high survival rate if it’s found before it spreads to the lymph nodes. In short, early detection is crucial to long-term survival.
What Happens During the Skin Exam?
The doctor will inspect every inch of your skin, so arrive with your hair un-styled and no polish on your toes or fingers. Also, don’t wear makeup. You’ll be put in a private room and asked to put on a gown. Remove everything, including your jewelry.
The exam may be performed with you either laying on a table or standing up. Most use a magnifying glass to inspect your skin and the doctor will only uncover the area being inspected before moving on.
Conversely, you can also request no one enter except your doctor.
What If I Have Tattoos or Birthmarks?
Your exam may be lengthier if you have such features on your skin, but a thorough examination is still possible. The doctor will examine any areas of concern for a scaly texture or to detect lumps under the skin.
If you have a lot of tattooing or are covered in freckles, mention this when booking your appointment to allow ample time for a careful check.
An annual skin exam is an important aspect of your health screenings and shouldn’t be delayed. Located in Norwood, Dermatology Associates understands the importance of receiving an annual skin exam to a person’s overall health.
Our highly qualified team is committed to catching any warning signs early. If it’s been over a year since your last exam, contact our office today to schedule an appointment. No matter what the outcome, we know you’ll be thankful you did.