Full Skin Exams at Schweiger Dermatology
Annual Full Skin Exams: How 15 Minutes a Year Can Save Your Life
What if you were told that a 15-minute appointment with a dermatologist every year could save your life? We have a feeling you’d pick up the phone pronto to make an appointment. The rates of skin cancer are growing at an alarming rate. This year, over five million Americans will be treated for skin cancer and one out of five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Those are the facts. Another fact is that skin cancer is entirely preventable if it’s caught early enough. That’s where that 15-minute appointment comes in. In less time than it takes you to scroll through your Facebook feed, a board-certified dermatologist can check your skin for the signs of skin cancer. So why aren’t you picking up that phone yet?
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends children and adults alike go visit the dermatologist every year for a skin cancer check. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, with over two million Americans getting diagnosed with it each year. The scary thing is that one out of five Americans will get skin cancer during their lifetime. With skin cancer, if it’s diagnosed early, it is also the most curable of all the various cancers. When it’s detected too late, skin cancer can be one of the most deadly.
Skin Cancer Warning Signs
While visiting the dermatologist to receive regular skin cancer checks from a board certified dermatologist every year is the best route to take, you should also be aware of skin cancer warning signs, which include:
- An open sore that’s not healing: If you have an open sore on your skin that oozes, bleeds and begins to crust for a couple of weeks, it could be an early sign of basal cell carcinoma.
- An irritated and reddish patch of skin: A patch of skin that crusts and itches can be a skin cancer warning sign. These reddish patches typically appear on the chest, shoulders, arms, face and legs.
- Nodules or shiny bumps: It might look like a mole, but a shiny nodule that is typically pink, red, translucent, tan, black, or brown might be a warning sign of skin cancer.
- Changing moles: If you notice a mole has changed shape, size, texture or color, call immediately for an appointment.
- Growth with elevated border: If you see a pinkish colored growth that has elevated rolled borders along with a crusted indentation in the middle, it’s time to get it checked out.
- An area that looks like a scar: An area that appears to be a yellow or white scar with no defined borders could actually be an early sign of skin cancer.
The ABCDEs of Melanoma
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, as it spreads to other parts of the body at an alarming pace. Melanoma rates have increased 200% over the past 30 years. While the safest and most thorough way to get a full skin exam and skin cancer screening is to visit the dermatologist every year, there are certain red flags on the skin that you should always be on the lookout for. As a hard and fast rule, be aware of any new or changing growths or moles on your body. The other warning signs of skin cancer are often referred to as The ABCDEs of Melanoma. Be on the lookout for these skin cancer warning signs:
- A is for Asymmetry: If your mole is not symmetrical
- B is for Borders: The borders on a mole are uneven or scalloped
- C is for Color: If your mole has various colors in it
- D is for Diameter: Melanomas are often larger in diameter than ¼ inch, roughly the size of a pencil eraser
- E is for Evolving: Any change in size, color or shape of a mole is a warning sign.
If you see any of these warning signs on your skin, book an appointment with one of our board-certified dermatologists immediately.
Schweiger Dermatology Group Offers Easy Skin Cancer Screenings
At Schweiger Dermatology Group, with convenient locations all around New York and New Jersey, we have a team of board-certified dermatologists dedicated to the health of your skin and to the prevention of skin cancer. With same day appointments and extended hours, our offices offer the convenience and flexibility you need for your busy schedules. Our practice boasts some of the top skin cancer experts in the country. Our patient representatives are on hand to take your appointment now.