The Importance Of Regular Skin Exams

Everyone can benefit from visiting their dermatologist once a year.

When was the last time you had your skin evaluated by a medical professional? Most people probably can’t remember the last time they saw a dermatologist, if ever. That’s because, unless you’re dealing with stubborn acne or other skin problems you may not be turning to your dermatologists for regular checkups and skin exams in Wellesley, MA. 

Skin Cancer is the Most Common Type of Cancer

Skin cancer impacts millions of Americans each year, which is why it’s so important that you are taking annual skin exams seriously. After all, your dermatologists know what to look for and have the tools to evaluate moles and growths that you might miss.

Just as your dentist removes plaque and tartar buildup in places that were hard for you to reach with your at-home toothbrush, an annual skin exam allows our team to be able to check all areas of your body such as the scalp that may be harder for you to examine yourself.

Know Your Risk Factors

While everyone should get an annual skin exam, it’s particularly important that people who spend a considerable amount of time outdoors get checked regularly. It’s easy for new growth to pop up or a mole to change color and shape. Not all skin cancers look suspicious to you, but our team knows what to look for. People at an increased risk for skin cancer include:

  • People with fair skin, light hair, and light eyes
  • People who spend considerable time outdoors
  • People who do or have spent time in tanning beds
  • Anyone who’s experienced at least one sunburn
  • People who don’t wear sunscreen
  • Anyone with a large number of moles
  • People with a family history of skin cancer (including non-melanoma skin cancer)

Know the Warning Signs

While an annual skin exam in Wellesley, MA, can help us detect skin cancer early in our patients, it’s also just as important that you perform regular monthly exams on yourself so you may be better equipped to tell when a mole or growth could be cancerous. Some warning signs include:

  • An asymmetrical growth or mole
  • A mole with blurry or poorly defined borders
  • A mole with changing colors or multiple colors
  • A mole that is larger than 6mm in diameter (larger than the size of a pencil eraser)
  • Any mole that crusts, oozes, bleeds, is painful or changes in appearance
  • A new mole that you’ve never seen before

Since skin cancer can happen to anyone, you must turn to your dermatologists for routine skin exams in Wellesley, MA, at least once a year. If it’s time for your upcoming skin exam, or if you notice a suspicious growth, call Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates at (781) 237-3500 to schedule an appointment.