Skin is the largest body organ that is constantly exposed to different hazardous elements present in our surroundings. Many diseases, such as cancer, give early warning signs through the skin. That’s why doctors advise us to get a skin checkup once a year. It usually entails a thorough examination from head to toe to identify the symptoms of the skin-related disease. To get the annual skin screening, you should visit any best dermatologists working in your area. Dermatologists are experienced and trained enough in detecting skin cancer by using a variety of tests and advanced machines. As per the statistics, over 9000 people in the United States are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. The good news is that if these malignancies are found in the early stages, they are highly treatable. Therefore, you should make skin screening a part of your daily routine. If you’re new to skin screening, a full-body scan is recommended to keep track of any skin problem. For this, you should stick to your doctor who is quite familiar with your skin problems. Anyone with a history of melanoma skin malignancies or precancerous skin abnormalities may benefit from annual skin screening in the following conditions:
- Family history of melanoma
- Light eye color or blonde hair
- Has had a lot of typical moles or has any suspicious-looking mole on the skin
- History of using a tanning bed
- History of blistering sunburns
- Has a history of regular sun exposure through activities like boating or living in a sunny region, or vocations like landscaping or construction
- Has had an organ transplant
Purpose of an Annual Skin Examination:Your dermatologist will inspect your skin from head to toe, and any strange areas with the help of dermatoscopy. Dermatoscope is a specific tool that magnifies the appearance of lesions found on the skin. Its basic purpose is to find any suspicious spot on your skin. If your dermatologist found any worrisome spot on your skin, he/will recommend continuous follow-up over time. Photos may be taken to compare its results with the upcoming skin exam. A small tissue sample of the lesion (a biopsy) may be taken by your doctor to send to the lab for testing. Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma are the three most common kinds of skin cancer. A change in the skin, such as a new growth or a noticeable difference in an existing growth or mole, is the most prevalent warning sign of skin cancer, regardless of how and where it appears. If you or your loved one has already detected this type of spot on your skin, immediately contact your dermatologist to identify the cause and get the treatment accordingly. When you visit a dermatologist for an annual screening, you should keep all reports of past skin conditions with yourself that will help the doctor to better understand your skin condition.
What will Dermatologists do during Annual Skin Screening?Your doctor will examine your entire body’s skin for any malignant or pre-cancerous spots. If the doctor suspects an area, he/she will perform the following actions;
- First of all, Doctor will take photographs to gain a better understanding of it.
- Second, the doctor will extract a tissue sample from the affected area to be examined by microscopic experts. The dermatologist will examine it with a microscope after getting its confirmation from lab test results. There is no discomfort associated with the examination mentioned above. If the suspected area is found malignant, you should not worry about it. As, if it is detected in the early stages, it can be removed or treated easily.
How to prepare yourself for Annual Skin Screening?Here are five golden suggestions that will help you to get prepare yourself for annual skin screening;
Keep yourself aware and calmYou should study self-screening to keep yourself aware of cancerous or pre-cancerous cells and how it affects your entire body. Ask questions from your dermatologist about your different skin conditions to gain vital advice and insight from an expert specializing in skin problems. Your doctor is an excellent source of information who can guide you about how to perform a skin self-exam.
Do Self-ScreeningMake a self-examination and bring notes to your dermatologist’s appointment about any new, changing, or unusual happening at your skin. Show your dermatologist any photos you’ve taken of a spot that has changed over time. Self-screening should be done more frequently and keep the track of your findings before going to the doctor. The ideal method for self-screening is as follows:
- Use a mirror to check every single aspect of your body.
- Look for a mole that has changed in size, color, or shape over time.
- Examine your skin for any bleeding moles.
- Examine your skin for any giant moles.
Do not put on any Makeup during the appointment with the doctorYour doctor will examine your face, arms, feet, legs, and hands thoroughly because the risk of acquiring malignant cells in sun-exposed areas of the body is most significant, So, if you have an annual screening appointment, you should not wear any makeup otherwise keep the makeup remover on hand to use it as per the advice of a doctor.
Do not wear Nail PaintsDuring your skin screening, you are strongly advised not to wear nail polish. Although nails are not considered part of the skin, the doctor will examine your nail beds and nails during your skin examination because malignant cells can thrive there as well. The pigment cells in the nail matrix can become cancerous and develop into melanoma.
Leave your Hair downYou must remove ponytails, buns, or hair clips so that the doctor can examine your scalp easily, where skin malignancies can and do occur. The doctor will look at your scalp with different machines to detect any malignancies. The second most frequent type of skin cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. It’s more common in individuals with fair skin and on sun-exposed regions of the body, such as the scalp. Scalp squamous cell carcinomas make up about 3 to 8% of all squamous cell carcinomas.
- https://www.dallasdermcenter.com/blog/the-importance-of-annual-skin-exams/ retrieved on 24th January 2022.
- https://www.google.com.pk/amp/s/health.clevelandclinic.org/skin-cancer-screening- retrieved on 24th January 2022.
- what-to-expect-during-a-full-body-skin-exam/amp/ retrieved on 24th January, 2022. https://www.skincancer.org/early-detection/annual-exams/ retrieved on 24th January 2022.