Taking care of your skin is critically important as it ensures you remain in overall good health, enjoy a better quality of life, and are happier than usual. However, to ensure proper skin health, you must visit licensed and experienced skin specialists now and again, especially if you are at risk of the disease.
But questions like “how often should I get my skin checked” and “how should I prepare for the appointment?” – are among the most common queries most folks have worldwide, chiefly those who are making an appointment for their very first visit to the dermatologist.
Besides the above two questions, other crucial aspects of skin cancer screening have been covered below to help first-timers get through their appointments without hassles.
Choose a Good Clinic
If you compromise on cost and see a subpar specialist, your underlying skin condition may not be diagnosed or even caught by the individual, leading to dire consequences. Therefore, one cannot undermine the fundamental importance of finding the best possible skin specialists to screen for melanomas and other types of skin cancers.
Look for a place that diagnoses and treats all skin cancers using modern medicine and state-of-the-art technology. Have a detailed discussion with your doctor and determine the correct way to test and treat your condition, if any. Ideally, a reliable skin clinic will offer other cosmetic treatments, too, such as microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing, scar removal, etc.
Preparing for the Appointment
To ensure the screening test goes smoothly, do the following unfailingly beforehand.
- Do a quick self-exam, make notes if you notice any unusual spots, patches, moles, or other irregularities, and inform your doctor about it.
- Avoid makeup as it hinders examining the under-eye areas and the delicate facial skin.
- Remove nail polish thoroughly as the fingers and toes need to be carefully examined since cancer can form there too.
- Try not to wear your hair in a tight bun or ponytail, as that can make it challenging to examine the scalp.
- Ask your dermatologist as many questions as you wish to and gain valuable insight into skin cancer, the screening process, how to keep it at bay, and other pivotal details.
What the Doctor Will Look For
Your dermatologist will carefully and thoroughly examine every inch of your skin to check for even the slightest signs of cancer. The physical examination generally aims to find irregular, discoloured, or multi-shaded moles, odd lesions, sores, nodules, and skin patches different from the surrounding skin.
Depending on the skin cancer test results, the doctor may order a biopsy, blood tests, and other medical examinations. If the reports come back positive for cancer, you can discuss treatment plans with the healthcare professional involving cryotherapy, surgery, curette, etc.
Frequency of Screening
All the above information is helpful, but if you are wonder “how often should I get my skin checked?” – Well, once a year is typically ideal for getting screened for any skin cancer and disorder.
But if you are at a higher risk of the disease, you should get checked more than once in twelve months to stay on the safe side. For instance, if there is a history of cancer in your family, you spend much time in the harsh sun or notice any sudden changes in your skin, it is imperative to see your doctor immediately.