Most people have regular checkups scheduled with their primary care doctors, dentists, orthopedist, and so on from the very beginning of the year. But when it comes to getting their regular skin checks from a registered dermatologist, not so much. Today, we will clarify why skin checkups are as important as any other checkups.
You might be wondering, “Is the extra hassle of adding another checkup to your routine needed”? Well, the answer is most definitely yes! Are you aware that skin cancer is the number one prevalent form of cancer in the USA and that dermatologists are specifically trained to detect and treat skin cancers? The bright side is if they are caught in their early stages, most skin cancers are highly treatable and you can jump back to your normal lifestyle without any significant changes. This makes having regular skin checks a vital part of your healthcare routine.
How Frequently Do You Need To Schedule Your Skin Checks?
The best answer to this question is to consult with a dermatologist. However, having an annual skin check scheduled will be suggested for anyone who:
May have a history of having melanoma or any other kind of skin cancer.
Is showing pre-cancerous symptoms of having skin lesions.
Has a first degree close relative with a history of having melanoma.
Has a relatively large number of moles show up in the skin.
Has a history of having atypical moles.
Frequently uses tanning beds.
Often gets blisters due to sunburns.
Regularly takes part in boating, works as a construction worker, or lives in a very sunny area that periodically exposes them to harsh UV rays.
Is a recipient of an organ transplant.
What Happens During Skin Checks?
During a skin check, a dermatologist performs a close and thorough examination of the skin of your entire body, from the scalp of your head to the toe of your feet, to detect if any suspicious symptoms can be spotted.
When it comes to skin cancer, it can be separated into three main types: melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma. Even though all three display symptoms that are very different from one another, one thing common with all types of skin cancer is the significant change in the way the skin typically looks. For instance, a sudden growth is prominently visible in the number of moles that your skin has compared to what it had before.
Even though the doctor will check your skin, you must take a thorough look at your skin ahead of the checkup. If you notice something different or that concerns you, take a note of it and mention it to the doctor before the checkup starts.
What To Expect During a Skin Check
As for the examination, before it starts, you will be instructed to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown. To make the checkup process as easy and as effective as is possible, you will be required to remove any kind of makeup, jewelry, bandages or any other thing that may cover up your skin.
The usual skin checkup process takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The dermatologist has a particular pattern of systematically checking the entire skin that either uses a bright light or a dermatoscope, a handheld tool used to magnify the skin to look at your skin lesions in closer proximity.
And What If The Doctor Finds Something Suspicious?
If something suspicious that may be linked to being cancerous or precancerous is detected on your skin, the doctor will take a close shot picture of the area for the medical chart. Next, a biopsy will be held on your skin, which includes removing a small sample of skin tissue so that it can be examined closely under a microscope by a pathologist.
Having a regular skin check appointment could make all the difference in catching signs of skin cancer and other skin conditions in their earliest stages. Set up your appointment with the best dermatologists for a skin check in Tampa.