Home / Blog
.

What to Expect with a Full Skin Exam


Having a skin examination with your dermatologist can be the easiest and quickest skin cancer screening you will ever undergo. For the most part, you just show some skin, the doctor looks at you painlessly, and you leave the office 15 minutes later. On the other hand, the exam is a very big deal because those 15 minutes can save your life.

Before you arrive

  • To get the best value from regular skin exams, it makes sense to do a few things beforehand.
  • Do a thorough self exam so that you can call the doctor's attention to anything that concerns you. Write it down, including where it is on your body, so you don't forget.
  • Make a note of any personal or family history of skin cancer. Either of these increases your chance of future skin cancers and will make the doctor all the more vigilant.
  • Remove any polish from your fingernails and toenails, so the doctor has a clear view of the nails and of the skin beneath the nails, where skin cancers can grow.
  • Remove all makeup and lipstick. Many skin cancers arise on the face, and some particularly risky precancerous and cancerous growths occur on the lips, so you want the most unobstructed view possible.


At the doctor's office

  • At the start of the visit, give the doctor your personal and family skin cancer history and mention any spots you are worried about. The dermatologist may check the specific lesions first, explaining to you why they do or don't look suspicious.
  • If the exam is going to be complete, the dermatologist will ask you to undress completely. That includes socks, jewelry, and underwear. You can always decline, but remember that the point of a total body exam is that skin cancers can grow anywhere in your body, even in areas rarely exposed to the sun. Many doctors provide a hospital gown, which can be lowered and raised to easily isolate one area to examine at a time, so that you're not sitting around feeling exposed. You can also ask for a medical attendant to be in the room or to leave the room, depending on what makes you feel most comfortable.
  • The dermatologist will visually examine every inch of your body systematically head to toe, looking at everything, including your scalp, ears, eyes, between your fingers and toes, and between your legs. Feel free to ask at any time what the doctor is looking for and what the areas of concern are, so that you can more effectively examine yourself in the future. Use this visit to educate yourself.
  • If nothing on your scan proves worrisome, you can simply set up your next regular exam. But if any lesions raise concern, the dermatologist will use certain preliminary methods to narrow in on a diagnosis. She or he may simply feel the lesion, checking its texture, dimensions, and solidity, or use imaging tools such as a dermatoscope to differentiate the lesion from other, similar lesions. The doctor may also compare against photos taken at a previous visit to see if the lesion has changed significantly. If signs point to skin cancer, dermatologist will do a biopsy. The doctor will give you a local anesthesia to numb the area, then remove a piece of tissue and send it to the lab for analysis. Ultimately, a pathologist will determine if the lesion is a skin cancer, and if so, what kind it is. It can take a week or longer to learn your results. If it is skin cancer, your doctor will schedule a date to remove the entire tumor, discussing with you what kind of treatment will be best based on your preference.

Follow-up

  • The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends an annual skin exam, but if you have had a skin cancer, or have a lesion that could turn into one (such as atypical or borderline lesions), more frequent visits are your best guarantee that any skin cancer you find will be early and curable.
  • Sun avoidance, protective clothing, and sunscreen with SPF greater than 30 and containing a UVA blocker such as zinc oxide are also integral parts of  your participation in the health of your skin.

The above article was adapted from skincancer.org.

61 comments (Add your own)

1. wrote:
What's up, everything is going nicely here and ofcourse every one
is sharing facts, that's actually excellent, keep up
writing.

Mon, September 24, 2018 @ 7:09 PM

2. wrote:
What's Taking place i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered
It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to give a contribution & assist different users like its helped me.
Good job.

Sat, November 24, 2018 @ 6:53 AM

3. JeaLodo wrote:
Cialis Pas Cher Sur Paris Online Pharmacies To Avoid Prix De Xenical 120 Mg [url=http://viaacost.com]viagra[/url] Buy Viagra No Prescription Amoxicillin 500 Mg Propecia Receding Hair Amoxicillin Combined With Doxycycline Acheter Cialis Fr [url=http://cialionline.com]cheapest cialis 20mg[/url] Propecia Cost Buy Buy Levitra?Online Dream Pharmaceutical Levitra 10 Mg Pyridium Tablets Store Free Doctor Consultation Clobetasol 30g Best Website [url=http://cialtadalaf.com]cialis online[/url] Trouver Kamagra France Real Progesterone Ups Forum Cialis En Ligne Sildenafil Citrate 100mg Prices Baclofene Quel Dosage [url=http://arealot.com]zoloft require prescription in canada[/url] Kamagra Corriere Espresso Levitra Usa

Mon, December 24, 2018 @ 12:28 PM

4. wrote:
Only wanna remark that you have a very nice internet site, I enjoy the design it actually stands out.

Mon, December 24, 2018 @ 4:55 PM

5. wrote:
It's going to be end of mine day, except before ending I am reading this fantastic post
to increase my know-how.

Mon, January 21, 2019 @ 12:18 PM

6. wrote:
Some truly superb info, Gladiola I discovered this.

Tue, March 12, 2019 @ 4:44 PM

7. wrote:
Hello, I enjoy reading through your article post.
I wanted to write a little comment to support you.

Thu, April 4, 2019 @ 5:07 PM

8. wrote:
These are genuinely fantastic ideas in regarding blogging.
You have touched some pleasant points here. Any way keep up wrinting.

Thu, April 11, 2019 @ 10:35 PM

9. wrote:
There's definately a great deal to know about this subject.
I love all the points you have made.

Sun, April 14, 2019 @ 9:20 AM

10. wrote:
Hi there all, here every person is sharing these kinds of
familiarity, therefore it's nice to read this weblog,
and I used to pay a visit this web site every day.

Tue, June 11, 2019 @ 7:45 PM

11. wrote:
Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google,
and found that it's really informative. I am
going to watch out for brussels. I'll appreciate if you continue this in future.
Numerous people will be benefited from your writing.
Cheers!

Sat, June 22, 2019 @ 11:46 PM

12. wrote:
Undeniably imagine that which you stated.

Your favourite reason appeared to be on the net the easiest factor to take into accout of.
I say to you, I definitely get annoyed at the same time as folks
think about worries that they just do not understand about.

You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing with no
need side-effects , people could take a signal. Will probably
be again to get more. Thank you!

Wed, July 10, 2019 @ 11:45 AM

13. wrote:
I know this web page gives quality based articles or reviews and
extra information, is there any other web page
which gives such stuff in quality?

Wed, July 10, 2019 @ 2:40 PM

14. wrote:
Hi my family member! I wish to say that this post is awesome, nice written and include approximately all
significant infos. I'd like to peer more posts like this.

Fri, July 12, 2019 @ 5:33 AM

15. wrote:
It?s hard to find educated people in this particular subject, however,
you seem like you know what you?re talking about!
Thanks

Tue, July 16, 2019 @ 10:51 PM

16. wrote:
These are really fantastic ideas in about blogging.
You have touched some good things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

Thu, July 25, 2019 @ 3:52 AM

17. wrote:
Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your web site is so cool.
I'm impressed by the details that you've on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive
this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles.
You, my pal, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched everywhere and simply could not come across.
What a great web site.

Fri, July 26, 2019 @ 7:31 PM

18. wrote:
I'd perpetually want to be update on new blog posts on this site,
bookmarked!

Sun, August 4, 2019 @ 12:31 PM

19. wrote:
Deference to author, some great information.

Thu, August 8, 2019 @ 7:22 AM

20. wrote:
Wow! This could be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We've
ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Great.
I'm also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.

Thu, August 8, 2019 @ 2:33 PM

21. wrote:
I conceive this website holds some rattling fantastic information for everyone :
D.

Thu, August 8, 2019 @ 2:41 PM

22. wrote:
That is very attention-grabbing, You're a very professional blogger.
I've joined your rss feed and sit up for looking for extra of your magnificent post.
Additionally, I've shared your website in my social networks!

Thu, August 8, 2019 @ 3:06 PM

23. wrote:
I?m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I come across
a blog that?s equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head.

The issue is something too few people are speaking
intelligently about. I am very happy I came across this during
my search for something concerning this.

Thu, August 8, 2019 @ 4:27 PM

24. wrote:
Do you have a spam problem on this blog; I also
am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have created
some nice procedures and we are looking to trade methods with other folks, be sure to shoot me an email if interested.

Thu, August 8, 2019 @ 6:21 PM

25. wrote:
Thanks so much pertaining to giving my family an update on this
subject matter on your web site. Please realise that if a brand-new post becomes available or
if perhaps any modifications occur to the current post, I would be thinking about reading a lot more and understanding
how to make good use of those techniques you share. Thanks for your efforts and consideration of other
folks by making this website available.

Thu, August 8, 2019 @ 6:28 PM

26. wrote:
I am regular visitor, how are you everybody?
This article posted at this site is actually pleasant.

Thu, August 8, 2019 @ 7:03 PM

27. wrote:
Would love to perpetually get updated outstanding blog!

Fri, August 9, 2019 @ 2:11 PM

28. wrote:
I'll right away snatch your rss feed as I can not to find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service.

Do you have any? Kindly allow me realize in order that I could subscribe.

Thanks.

Fri, August 9, 2019 @ 3:26 PM

29. wrote:
Wow! Thank you! I constantly wanted to write on my site something
like that. Can I include a portion of your post to my blog?

Fri, August 9, 2019 @ 3:34 PM

30. wrote:
I read this paragraph completely concerning the resemblance of newest and previous technologies, it's awesome article.

Fri, August 9, 2019 @ 7:38 PM

31. wrote:
Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your web-site is very cool.
I am impressed by the details that you've on this website.
It reveals how nicely you understand this subject.
Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles.
You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched everywhere and
just couldn't come across. What a great web-site.

Sat, August 10, 2019 @ 1:44 AM

32. wrote:
I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure of your blog?
Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.

But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it
better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having
one or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?

Sat, August 10, 2019 @ 4:14 AM

33. wrote:
Regards for this tremendous post, I am glad I
detected this internet site on yahoo.

Sat, August 10, 2019 @ 7:03 AM

34. wrote:
Basically to follow up on the update of this subject matter on your blog and would want
to let you know simply how much I valued the time you took to publish this
handy post. Inside the post, you spoke on how to actually handle this thing with all comfort.
It would be my personal pleasure to collect some more strategies from your web site
and come up to offer people what I have benefited from you.

I appreciate your usual good effort.

Sat, August 10, 2019 @ 12:38 PM

35. wrote:
I do agree with all the ideas you've offered on your post.
They're really convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for starters.

May you please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time?

Thank you for the post.

Sat, August 10, 2019 @ 2:02 PM

36. wrote:
Hello, Neat post. There's an issue with your site in internet explorer, might test this?
IE still is the market leader and a huge part of other folks
will miss your great writing because of this problem.

Sat, August 10, 2019 @ 2:54 PM

37. wrote:
This blog was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that
helped me. Cheers!

Sat, August 10, 2019 @ 7:47 PM

38. wrote:
I really glad to find this internet site on bing, just what I was searching for :
D likewise saved to fav.

Sat, August 10, 2019 @ 8:13 PM

39. wrote:
I am writing to make you know of the impressive discovery my cousin's
daughter developed reading through the blog.
She mastered a good number of details, which included how it is like to have a wonderful teaching mood to
get folks without hassle grasp a variety of hard to do topics.
You truly exceeded my desires. Thanks for rendering these essential, trusted, explanatory and unique tips about the topic to
Emily.

Sun, August 11, 2019 @ 1:24 PM

40. wrote:
Glad to be one of several visitants on this awful
web site :D.

Mon, August 12, 2019 @ 4:20 AM

41. wrote:
Hi my friend! I want to say that this post is amazing,
great written and come with almost all important infos.
I'd like to look more posts like this.

Mon, August 12, 2019 @ 5:19 AM

42. wrote:
Hi there friends, its great piece of writing on the
topic of teachingand fully defined, keep it
up all the time.

Mon, August 12, 2019 @ 7:22 AM

43. wrote:
It's fantastic that you are getting thoughts from this article as well as from our dialogue made
here.

Mon, August 12, 2019 @ 8:31 AM

44. wrote:
Thanks designed for sharing such a pleasant thought, piece of writing is fastidious, thats why i have read it fully

Mon, August 12, 2019 @ 2:16 PM

45. wrote:
Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs
I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It's always exciting to read articles from other authors and use
something from their websites.

Mon, August 12, 2019 @ 2:24 PM

46. wrote:
Hello! I know this is kinda off topic but I'd figured I'd ask.
Would you be interested in exchanging links
or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa?

My website addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other.
If you might be interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
I look forward to hearing from you! Terrific blog by the way!

Mon, August 12, 2019 @ 3:52 PM

47. wrote:
Hello there, You have done an excellent job. I will certainly digg it and for my part
suggest to my friends. I am confident they'll be benefited from this web site.

Mon, August 12, 2019 @ 4:40 PM

48. wrote:
Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you
really recognise what you are speaking about! Bookmarked.
Kindly also visit my site =). We may have a hyperlink
alternate contract between us

Mon, August 12, 2019 @ 6:40 PM

49. wrote:
Hey there just wanted to give you a brief
heads up and let you know a few of the images
aren't loading properly. I'm not sure why but I think its
a linking issue. I've tried it in two different browsers and both show the same results.

Tue, August 13, 2019 @ 1:35 AM

50. wrote:
Ahaa, its nice dialogue about this article at this place at this blog, I have read
all that, so now me also commenting at this place.

Tue, August 13, 2019 @ 5:38 AM

51. wrote:
If some one wishes to be updated with latest technologies afterward he
must be pay a quick visit this web site and be up to date all the time.

Tue, August 13, 2019 @ 3:11 PM

52. wrote:
I've been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this
web site. Thank you, I'll try and check back more frequently.
How frequently you update your website?

Tue, August 13, 2019 @ 4:12 PM

53. wrote:
Hello.This article was extremely interesting, particularly since I was investigating for thoughts on this issue last Saturday.

Tue, August 13, 2019 @ 5:07 PM

54. wrote:
What's up to all, for the reason that I am genuinely eager of reading this webpage's post to be updated on a regular basis.
It contains pleasant stuff.

Tue, August 13, 2019 @ 5:53 PM

55. wrote:
I've been surfing on-line more than three hours as of late, yet I never discovered any
interesting article like yours. It's lovely value enough for me.
In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content as
you probably did, the web will likely be much more useful than ever before.

Tue, August 13, 2019 @ 9:27 PM

56. wrote:
I always spent my half an hour to read this website's articles daily along with a mug of coffee.

Tue, August 13, 2019 @ 10:04 PM

57. wrote:
Hello there, You've performed a great job. I'll definitely digg it and
individually suggest to my friends. I am sure they will be
benefited from this website.

Wed, August 14, 2019 @ 12:00 AM

58. wrote:
Heya just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you
know a few of the images aren't loading correctly. I'm not
sure why but I think its a linking issue. I've tried it in two
different browsers and both show the same results.

Wed, August 14, 2019 @ 3:36 AM

59. wrote:
I seriously love your blog.. Pleasant colors & theme.
Did you build this amazing site yourself? Please reply
back as I?m hoping to create my own blog and would like to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called.

Thank you!

Wed, August 14, 2019 @ 3:49 AM

60. wrote:
It's an awesome piece of writing in favor of all the online viewers;
they will obtain advantage from it I am sure.

Wed, August 14, 2019 @ 4:01 AM

61. wrote:
Hi there Dear, are you genuinely visiting this web page daily, if
so afterward you will absolutely get pleasant experience.

Wed, August 14, 2019 @ 6:54 AM

Add a New Comment


code
 

Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.

© 2019 Dr Heidi Gilchrist MD - Encinitas Dermatologist All Rights Reserved.

Designed by Creatovision Design Group.