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The Importance of Regular Skin Exams

Posted on: January 20th, 2021 by Dr. Christopher Crosby

January is a popular time to set important goals for the year, some of which may pertain to your health. The team at Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic encourages you to schedule a full-body skin exam to check for signs of skin cancer. Undergoing skin exams annually allows our dermatologists to identify signs of skin cancer in the early stages, when cancer is most treatable.

Read on as we explain more about the importance of regular skin exams.

Don’t Skip Your Annual Skin Exam

Skin cancer is extremely common — as we have mentioned before, it affects one in five Americans. Self-checks for signs of skin cancer are an important part of maintaining skin health, but they aren’t as detailed as professional exams.

During a skin exam, our dermatologists examine every area of your body, from the top of your scalp to your toes, looking for suspicious spots that either indicate existing skin cancer or could potentially develop into skin cancer. We use a bright overhead light and special glasses with magnifiers to get a very close scan of your skin; if we notice anything concerning, we can use an instrument called a dermatoscope to see through the top layer of your skin.

If you have any moles or growths that are new, have changed in size or color or bleed or itch, please mention them to the dermatologist so we can examine them carefully.

A professional exam is beneficial because it looks at areas that are hard for you to see on your own, such as your back or the back of your legs. It is not uncommon for our dermatologists to discover spots or lesions that patients were completely unaware of. A skin exam is also an opportunity for our dermatologists to find other non-cancer-related skin issues, such as rashes, and discuss treatment options.

Skin exams are not invasive and they are not stressful. Our team likes to make the process as relaxed as possible by chatting with you throughout the exam. If you have questions at any point, we encourage you to bring them up.

After a baseline skin exam, we can discuss how often to return for subsequent exams. You may need more- or less-frequent skin checks, depending on any personal risk factors such as history of skin cancer.

Make Your Appointment Today

To make an appointment for a skin exam with the doctors at Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic, please call or email us today.

Coastal Skin & Eye Institute/Grossmont Dermatology