Skin Check Medina
When you’re looking for skin cancer, you need to thoroughly check every area of skin you can. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you should perform a self-examination every month as well as schedule a skin check periodically with your doctor. At DSC, our dermatologist Dr. Popovsky would be glad to examine your skin. Being trained to detect skin cancer in its early stages, she can be a part of your skin care regimen. Considering skin cancer is the world’s most common cancer, getting skin checks is essential for your health!
Here, we’ll discuss how you can perform your own skin check Medina. A self-exam is no substitute for a doctor visit, but it’s a wonderful, complimentary process you can do all year long, especially if you find it hard to make it to our office. You’ll need to see areas that are typically hard to see, so induce good visibility. The tools you will need besides good lighting are a stool, full-length mirror, handheld mirror and blow dryer (optional).
How to Perform a Self-Examination
Front Half of Body
First, stand or sit on your stool in front of a full-length mirror. Check your face, neck and upper torso. These areas are among the most common sites for skin cancer due to higher exposure to the sun. Check lips, nose, mouth and ears. If you’re a woman, you should check underneath your breasts. Remember that even if you burn mainly on your shoulders or chest, you should check in areas that are less obvious for skin cancer to form. The sun’s rays bounce off the ground and can reflect on skin from snow, sand and water.
Next, focus on your arms, armpits and hands. When checking hands, focus on palms, the backs and between the fingers. You should even check under your nails, a place where you may never apply sunscreen but that is often exposed to UV rays.
Then, examine your lower torso and genital region. You’ll want to stretch skin slightly to see that nothing new appeared, noting any growth or area that is larger than other moles.
The next step uses the stool. You’ll have to sit down and grab your legs and feet. Make sure to be thorough here and check all the hidden crevices (such as back of knees) where skin cancer may be. You must also check the soles of your feet, tops of feet, heels, between-toe spaces and toenails. These are not uncommon places to get skin cancer, either.
Back Half of Body
You will require your handheld mirror for the back half or alternatively, a friend or family member. Repeat the same exam from head to toe and make sure, as before, to concentrate on areas that are usually ignored (tops of ears, back of neck, etc). Don’t forget to examine the scalp. The scalp takes direct rays most of the time, and if you don’t wear a hat everyday, you should take more care in examining it. If you struggle to check it, use a blow dryer and the handheld mirror to move hair around and get important glimpses of this exposed skin.
What to Look for in a Self-Examination
You should look for changes of any kind in skin, examining existing freckles, moles or spots as well as more ‘regular’ skin. A spot does not have to hurt to be skin cancer. Changes to look for include the following:
- Skin growth that increases in size and becomes translucent, pearly, tan, brown, multicolored or black.
- A birthmark, brown spot, beauty mark or mole that changes color, becomes thicker, gets larger, gains irregular shape, shows up after age 21 or grows bigger than 6mm or 1/4 inch, the size of a pencil eraser.
- An open sore that doesn’t heal by three weeks.
- A spot or sore that itches, crusts, bleeds, scabs, erodes or hurts.
Frequently Asked Questions about Skin Check:
Q: How Old Should I Be to Begin Skin Checks?
A: Any age! The younger you start, the better. More and more people in their 20s and 30s are getting skin cancer. What matters is that you make skin checks a routine. Don’t force yourself to do a skin check Medina if you’re likely to stop or see it as a burden, but never turn down an opportunity to check your skin.
Q: Why Should I Do Self Checks?
A: A lot of people assume that skin cancer is obvious and easy to detect when it first emerges. While it is easy enough to detect that a simple self-exam is an effective method of detecting skin cancer, the reality is skin constantly changes and some hard-to-see areas may develop the cancer. Plus, you may not feel pain or any symptom alerting you to its presence. The simplest measure you can take to prevent skin cancer from becoming a disfiguring, dangerous ordeal is to check your skin regularly, both at home and at the doctor’s office.
Q: How Come I Should Also Schedule an In-Office Examination?
A: While you are your first guard against skin cancer, you should make to time to visit a dermatologist in order to review what changes to look for and examine the body thoroughly. No matter how thorough you are and the instruments you use (handheld mirror, blow dryer, etc), some areas are hard to check. Dr. Popovsky has seen several cases of skin cancer. She can answer any questions you have about changing lesions and order biopsies to test skin samples that appear problematic.
Q: What Difference Can a Skin Check Medina Really Make?
A: You may be thinking, “I don’t have fair skin” or “I just have plenty of moles as it is.” First, people of any shade are vulnerable to skin cancer, the most common cancer in the world. Moreover, if you think having tons of moles decreases your risk of skin cancer, it’s the opposite; in fact, people with over one hundred moles are more vulnerable to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer! A comprehensive German study in 2013, following 360,288 people, showed that physician-directed skin checks can lower melanoma deaths by 50%. So remember, not only should you make self-exams a habit; you should schedule a skin check Medina. It could save your life!
DSC firmly believes self checks can detect skin cancer early and prevent more devastating consequences of the disease. By participating in self-exams and doctor-led skin exams, you can be part of the solution. Schedule a skin check Medina today!