Skin is the body’s largest organ, and, like your heart and lungs, it requires preventive care, especially when it comes to skin cancer. Along with wearing sunscreen daily and avoiding outdoor activity during the sun’s peak hours, a full body check can make all the difference.
Fortunately, skin cancer screenings are pain-free and allow your dermatologist to detect and treat the earliest warning signs of cancer.
The board-certified dermatologists at Specialists in Dermatology in Houston and Woodlands, Texas, offer comprehensive skin cancer care from skin cancer surveillance to skin cancer treatments.
Your annual skin check could prevent the spread of dangerous cancers, including:
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Basal cell carcinoma
The importance of skin checks
Annual skin exams could be the difference between catching a potentially fatal disease in its earliest and most treatable stage. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Both basal and squamous cell carcinoma are more easily and successfully treated. These types of skin cancer are also far more common; more than 3 million people in the U.S. are treated for these cancers each year.
Along with early detection of skin cancer, regular skin exams can render treatment for these cancers easier. Early detection and treatment also mean less scarring and less invasive surgery.
Who should undergo a skin exam?
Everyone can benefit from an annual skin check. It’s vital for those at an increased risk of skin cancer. These patients should get checked every 6-12 months. Patients are at a higher risk if they have:
- Fair skin, light hair, or light eyes
- History of tanning bed use
- A history of severe sunburns
- Multiple moles
- A sibling or parent who has had skin cancer
Also, anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors for work, sports, or play should get an annual skin check.
What to expect during a skin exam
During your annual skin cancer exam, your dermatologist will look for any indications of skin cancer. Common signs include:
- Sores that won’t heal
- A change in the appearance of a mole or freckle
- A change in skin texture or color
- The appearance of lesions or bumps
- Scaly or flaky skin
- Unexplained itching or burning sensations
Your skin is thoroughly examined, and your physician will discuss your lifestyle and medical history.
Skin cancer is largely preventable. Protect your skin with a full-body check at Specialists in Dermatology. Contact us by phone or via the convenient online scheduling tool.