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Benefits of An Annual Skin Checkup for Cancer

Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the time they turn 70?  That said however, while skin cancer is a very common type of cancer, fortunately it is most often a very treatable condition, especially when diagnosed early. With frequent self-examinations at home and annual checkups with a dermatologist, you can do your best to catch skin cancer early.

Every year, it is suggested you get a full physical exam with your primary care physician, a dental exam with your dentist, and an eye exam to check for vision problems and eye health. To these, you should also consider adding an annual checkup with a dermatologist!

Getting a skin cancer screening is not scary at all and is generally a quick and simple process.  Your dermatologist will visually examine all areas of your skin, discuss their findings with you and inform you if they feel any abnormalities exist.  If any abnormality does exist, your dermatologist will discuss it with you and explain whether it should be investigated further to ensure it is not something to be worried about.  Another big benefit of visiting a dermatologist is that you get to discuss any other skin issues you may be experiencing, including rashes, acne, discoloration, or other skin problems.

Why See A Dermatologist

Dermatologists are experts of the skin and regularly diagnose, treat, and help prevent worsening of skin abnormalities.  A spot or mole that may seem ordinary to you, could possibly be something concerning, even cancerous.  A dermatologist has the education, training, and experience necessary to recognize any and all skin abnormalities and can help you address them before they get out of hand.  It is always best you have anything unusual on your skin examined early!

If you are like most people, you don’t thoroughly examine every corner of your body for abnormal spots. An annual exam with a dermatologist will ensure you get checked thoroughly, and if any abnormalities exist, you will get prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Self-Check for Skin Cancer

Along with annual checkups with your dermatologist, you should also examine your skin at home regularly for any abnormalities. Follow the A.B.C.D.E. rules when checking for skin abnormalities, especially abnormal moles. If any of them apply to you, see a dermatologist as soon as possible to have examined.

Any moles or lesions that are not symmetrical or completely round in shape should be checked out. Skin cancer generally forms in odd shapes.

When a mole develops edges that are raggedy, not uniformed, notched or blurred, it could mean it is cancerous and should be checked out by a dermatologist for a diagnosis.

When you notice the color of a mole changing with areas of pigment dropping out or shades of red, pink, blue, or white, it needs attention. Changes in color could be a sign of skin cancer.

While this criteria is not as consistent as the others, the bigger a mole is, the more important it is for you to get it checked out.  In general, if the mole is bigger than a pencil eraser and especially if it has any of the other ABCDE’s changes mentioned, it should be examined by a dermatologist sooner rather than later.

In general, moles do not change quickly in color, border, symmetry or size. If you notice a mole is changing in any significant way, you should get it checked out by a dermatologist.

Skin Cancer Checkup in Lake Worth, Texas

If you are looking for an experienced and reputable dermatologist for your skin care needs, consider the experts at Lakeview Dermatology. Dr. Mittelbronn has a wealth of experience treating all types of skin issues, including irregular moles and skin cancer. To make an appointment, call (817) 752-5256 or request an appointment online.

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