If you're heading to the dermatologist because you've spotted a few things on your skin that you're concerned about, you may be wondering what to expect. The idea of a skin cancer screening can be a bit daunting, so knowing what you can expect may make you feel a little more at ease. Read on to find out what you can expect during a skin cancer screening, and other skin cancer tips.
Before Your Appointment
Before you go in for your appointment, you should take a close look at your body and check your own moles. Inspect marks on your body that maybe weren't there before, and any moles that are new or have changed. If any of your moles are black, brown, red, or skin-colored, are asymmetrical, or have rough borders and are raised, these should be looked at. If you have other spots on your body that are new or have changed, have these looked at as well.
During Your Appointment
When you get to your dermatologist's office, you should discuss any changes you have noticed in your skin. If you have spots on your skin that are flaky, bleeding, or oozing, spots that don't heal, or any changed moles on your body, bring these spots up to your dermatologist. Ask to have a body screening if you have multiple spots that you think need to be looked at.
Your dermatologist will look at any spots that appear to be concerning. Measurements may be taken and these spots monitored, and samples may also be taken as well. If a sample is taken, your dermatologist may take the entire mole or skin patch, which will be done by shaving or using a scalpel. If the scalpel is used, stitches may be required. The mole or sample of skin will then be sent in for a biopsy.
You will receive results from your biopsy, and another appointment may then be needed to discuss potential treatments.
Skin Cancer Prevention Tips
Prevent skin cancer by protecting your skin as much as possible. Be sure to keep an eye on your skin and any moles that you may have, and take note of any changes. If you are out in the sun, keep your skin covered as much as possible. Use sunscreen of at least SPF 50 or more and reapply every hour, or after swimming or sweating. You need to wear sunscreen no matter if it's winter or summer, even on cloudy days. Also be sure to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
If you have areas on your skin that you're concerned about, make an appointment with the dermatologist to have a skin cancer screening.