Annual Skin Exam and Plan: Why You Need One
Americans are now making New Year’s resolutions, setting goals, and planning budgets to handle expenses big and small. If you’re not making an annual skin exam part of your routine each year, you may be putting your skin, health, and even bottom line at risk. Here are some things to know about your annual skin exam and how to make a plan to fit your skin (and your budget):
What is an Annual Skin Exam?
An annual skin exam is an opportunity for a Dermatologist to examine your skin, identify concerns, look at moles to evaluate changes, and check out any rashes. You can also speak with your Provider if you want to consider any medical or cosmetic treatments to help with skin issues.
“We try to keep our patients very comfortable and relaxed during the exam, which usually takes only 10 minutes,” Kristin Neuhaus, MD with Bend Dermatology explains. “We look at your skin from head to toe, usually while explaining the things we see on your skin and answering questions.”
If you have any concerns or have noticed moles that changed in size or color, mention that to your Skin Care Provider so they can pay special attention to those areas.
Also, if you’re at higher risk for skin cancer, you may even want to get skin exams more often than annually.
You can use the start of a new year or even your birthday to keep up with your schedule for a skin exam. Just make sure you’re doing one! Take care of your skin every day, all year long by using skin care products recommended by the experts and always wearing sunscreen.
Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Annual Skin Exam
Neuhaus also shares, “Melanoma is a serious skin cancer and can occur in an area that the patient can’t see. The most common place for melanoma in men is on the back, and in women is on the calf.”
“If left untreated, melanoma can become life-threatening before the patient is aware it is there. A strong argument for annual skin exams is to detect skin cancers when they are early and considered cured with a surgery,” says Neuhaus.
Many melanomas found in patients are discovered during an annual skin exam. These may be lesions that patients don’t know are there. Additionally, some easily curable, nuisance rashes patients just learn to deal with can be fixed up within days.
Where to Get Your Annual Skin Exam
Visit your local Oregon Dermatologists to schedule your annual skin exam. You can make an appointment at one of the Bend Dermatology locations to get your skin exam scheduled or to speak with an expert about what cosmetic treatments might be best for you.