Pop quiz: what is the body’s largest organ? The answer: it’s the skin! Still, many people don’t take the necessary steps to protect this vital organ. As the season changes and little ones head back to school, it’s time to refresh your own education and revisit how you think about your skin.
Just like getting regular physicals and going to the dentist every six months, paying a visit to your dermatologist is important, necessary, and non-negotiable. Nervous? Don’t be. Here’s everything you need to know about getting a skin check.
How often should I get my skin checked?
While we recommend a skin check every year or two for the average person (or 2 or more times with a history of excessive sun exposure or skin cancer), we understand that this can seem excessive. If getting to the dermatologist that frequently isn’t in your purview, ask us about how to perform skin checks at home to manage your health between visits. However, it is important to make sure that you are having a professional dermatologist look at your skin at least once per year.
How long does a skin check take?
A full-body skin check can take up only 10 minutes all the way up to 30 minutes, depending on your skin (number of moles, sun damage, etc.), so feel free to schedule your appointment during your lunch hour and we’ll do our best to have you in and out.
What can you expect from a skin check?
During the skin check, we will check you from head to toe for any abnormal, new, or irregular spots and/or moles. A skin cancer growth can appear in many forms such as a new, expanding, or changing growth, spot, or bump on the skin or a wart that has shifted in color or size. Or even a “pimple” that just won’t go away!
However, these are not the only signs and symptoms, so it’s important to turn to a professional when it comes to diagnosing a cancerous legion.
Expect our board-certified clinicians to check in on your family history of cancer and if any irregular spots are found, we may use special tools to remove a sample (biopsy) of skin from the suspicious area. The type of skin biopsy we perform is dependent on a number of factors (including size of the lesion and where it is on your body), but don’t worry: we’re here with you every step of the way to ensure a safe and quick experience.
Give us a call to set up your skin check in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and give yourself a little back to school treat: peace of mind. We’ll be waiting for your call!