You see your regular doctor once a year for a checkup and dentist regularly for teeth cleanings – but what about your dermatologist? Dermatologists are experts at detecting skin cancer, the most frequent type of cancer in the United States. Skin cancer screenings are an important component of your healthcare regimen because this condition is curable, mainly when found early. You should consider scheduling skin cancer screenings in Fort Worth to establish a baseline and learn more about the available options for treatment.
Who should visit the dermatologist?
Anyone suffering from any of the conditions should have their skin checked at least once a year:
- Has melanoma, other skin malignancies, or precancerous skin lesions in the past.
- Melanoma has been diagnosed in a first-degree relative.
- Has a lot of moles or had atypical moles in the past.
- Has a history of using a tanning bed.
- Has a history of scorching sunburns.
- Has a history of regular sun exposure from activities like boating or residing in a sunny region and professions like landscaping or construction.
- Is a recipient of an organ transplant.
How to prepare
It is a smart option to examine your skin regularly throughout the year to see whether you need to see a dermatologist before your annual inspection. Prepare to discuss any spots on your skin that you are concerned about or that have changed since your last visit with your dermatologist. Also, make a list of any questions you have about your skin or skin cancer that your dermatologist can clarify during your visit.
What to expect
The first step in a skin cancer screening is to change into one of those familiar hospital gowns. The dermatologist will inquire if you have any areas of concern before the skin inspection. This is not the time to be bashful about pointing out any areas you have noticed changes. The dermatologist will examine your skin from your face to your chest, back, arms, and legs during your session. They will look for irregular patches that could be malignant in less apparent areas such as the top of your head, the space between your toes, and the soles of your feet. They may also examine your lymphatic regions if you have a record of melanoma. This is the best time to tell your doctor if you have noticed any changes in growths or moles.
What’s next after the results
If a dermatologist discovers a suspicious mole or patch during a skin exam, they will decide whether to monitor it or remove it. It may also be photographed so that patients can keep track of any changes. Next, if the mole or area needs to be removed, you will have the option of having it done right away or making another appointment. The skin sample will then be subjected to a biopsy. Then, you will receive the results in the coming weeks, along with the doctor’s advice. It is recommended that you return to your dermatologist for a follow-up appointment next month.
Remember that early skin cancer detection saves lives. Make an appointment with Northstar Dermatology for your annual skin examination today.