In previous blog posts, we’ve stressed the importance of protecting your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays to minimize skin cancer risk. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends monthly self skin exams and annual skin exams by your dermatologist. It’s advisable to look for any new or changing growths, growths that appear different or unusual compared to other growths on the body, and irritated or bleeding growths. The following tips can help you prepare for an optimal total body skin exam by your dermatologist:
- Wear clothing and shoes that are easy to remove for a thorough exam.
- Women should avoid foundation make-up and only apply sunscreen prior to an examination. Facial lesions can be hidden under make-up.
- If you wear a removable hairpiece, you should be willing to remove it for the exam. A full exam includes the scalp.
If you have questions, note them in advance to help you remember. Keep in mind, though, if your list is long, you may be asked to make another appointment to cover all of you concerns.