Every year many of us make New Year’s resolutions, set goals, and plan budgets to handle expenses big and small. Be sure to include an annual skin exam on your list! These are a few things to know about your annual skin examination and how to make a plan that fits your skin (and your budget).
What is an Annual Skin Exam?
An annual skin exam is an opportunity for a Dermatologist to examine your skin, identify concerns, look at moles to evaluate changes, and inspect any rashes. It is an important part of an early detection strategy, even more so if you are at higher risk for skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and early detection is critical for a successful outcome.
It is also a great opportunity to speak with your Provider if you want to consider any medical or cosmetic treatments to help with any of your skin concerns.
Your Provider will check your skin from head to toe. This usually takes about 10 minutes, especially checking spots you may not be able to see yourself, such as on your back, your scalp, and behind your ears.
If you have any concerns or have noticed moles that changed in size or color, mention that to your Provider so they can pay special attention to those areas.
You can use the start of a new year or even your birthday to keep up with your schedule for a skin exam. It’s important to care for your skin all year long by using skin care products recommended by the experts and always wearing sunscreen.
Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Annual Skin Exam
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and can occur in an area that the patient can’t see. According to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the most commonplace for men to develop melanoma is on the back, head, or neck. The most common sites on women are the arms and the legs.
Many melanomas found in patients are discovered during an annual skin exam. These may be lesions that patients are unaware of. Additionally, some easily curable, nuisance rashes patients just learn to deal with can be fixed up within days.
Where to Get Your Annual Skin Exam
You want to go see a skin specialist for your annual skin exam. Our Board-Certified Dermatologists are highly trained in detecting and diagnosing skin conditions of all types. Make an appointment by calling our office at 907.646.8500 or online.