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The Importance of Annual Skin Exams

Over half of all new cancers in the U.S. are skin cancer.  The good news is that early detection and treatment will usually lead to a complete cure. That is why it is important to see your dermatologist once a year.

How Often Should I get a Skin Exam?

For most folks, once a year is just fine.  Your dermatologist may want to see you more often if you have additional risk factors:

  •  A history of skin cancer
  •  A family history of skin cancer
  •  If you are an organ transplant patient or are immunocompromised
  • A history of multiple pre-cancerous lesions

What Happens During a Skin Screening?

Your dermatologist will examine you from head to toe with extra attention to lesions that are changing, irregular in shape or color, or bleeding.  You will have to get undressed for a full body exam. 

  • Please do not wear makeup to the appointment.  You may bring makeup to apply after your appointment. 
  • Wear your hair loosely so your doctor can examine your scalp. 
  • Remove nail polish if you can because some lesions may grow under the nails.
  • Please tell your doctor if you have any lesions that you are concerned about
  • If there is a suspicious lesion, your dermatologist may do a biopsy to send the tissue to the pathologist for a diagnosis.

At What Age Should You Get a Skin Cancer Screening?

You should get a screening in your 20’s or 30’s.  However, if you have a family history of skin cancer, work in the sun a lot, or have lots of moles, you may want to be screened sooner.

What is a Melanoma Screening?

Your dermatologist will perform a full body skin exam from your head to your toes and biopsy any suspicious lesions.  Melanoma is usually treatable and curable if detected early.  However, it can be lethal if detected late. 


Is a Skin Cancer Screening Preventative Care?

Most skin cancers are easily treated if detected early.  The goal is to detect and treat lesions before they can spread.  For more information, schedule your skin cancer screening with Carolinas Dermatology and Plastic Surgery.  We offer the latest technology in the management of skin cancer.  We have years of experience and will treat you with kindness and respect.

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*This is a request form, not a guaranteed appointment. Upon receiving this completed form, we will contact you to confirm your actual appointment. If you need immediate assistance, please give us a call.