When Should You Receive a Skin Exam?

The American Cancer Society reports that skin cancer is the most common type of malignancy. Fortunately, a routine skin exam can catch suspicious spots, bumps and lumps before they advance. At Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates, your four board-certified dermatologists can show you ways to examine your skin at home, and they recommend routine in-office check-ups, too.

When should you receive a skin examination?

Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates recommends annual skin examinations for everyone age 40 and up. The rationale is simple: your dermatologist possesses expertise in exactly what those freckles, spots and bumps on your skin may mean. Also, he or she can biopsy, or analyze, suspicious lesions right away, and as needed, start you on the latest treatments.

Plus, your Wellesley dermatologist advises at-home skin examinations for all adults. These simple, monthly body checks help you to know your skin well and to detect changes quickly so you can report them to your physician.

The American Cancer Society emphasizes the importance of skin examinations. Early detection means early cure, even for the most deadly of skin cancers such as malignant melanoma.

How to perform a skin examination

The best time to perform a skin exam at home is after you shower or whenever you have sufficient time to do a thorough check--front to back, head to toe. Simply stand in front of a full length mirror and note all areas of your skin, focusing on the overall color, texture and appearance of freckles, spots and moles.

Be sure to check hidden areas of your body such as between the toes, bottoms of your feet, scalp, and back. Use a handheld mirror as needed, and enlist the help of a spouse or family member to assess what you cannot see yourself.

Changes in color, shapes, size, and texture are important. A sore which does not heal within a week to 10 days, or begins to bleed, hurt, itch or ooze, must be reported to your dermatologist for further analysis.

When you have a question...

If a spot or bump on your skin concerns you, please contact Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates. Our professional team is highly experienced and credentialed in evaluating and treating all kinds of skin conditions, including skin cancer. Also, they can teach you ways to assess your skin properly and how to keep it at its healthiest.

The office opens at 7 am weekdays for your convenience. Call us today for an appointment in Wellesley, MA. Get that skin examination done! Phone (781) 237-3500.