While skin exams aren’t the most fun topic, it’s super important for your health that you go and get them annually, especially if you’re at high risk for certain skin cancers. Getting your skin exam is one of the biggest things you can do to protect your skin from risk factors.
Why are skin exams important?
Skin exams are designed to check your skin for any changes (such as moles or other growths). Finding changes early can help doctors find and diagnose skin or medical conditions. Mainly, yearly skin exams help doctors idenitfy signs of skin cancer, which can be treated successfully if caught early enough.
While you can do your own skin exams at home – and it’s always good to really know your body – it’s important to get an exam by a professional (and not rely on the internet to self-diagnose).
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people who are at higher risk for skin cancer include those with:
- Many uncommon moles
- A lighter skin color
- Skin that burns and reddens easily
- Extensive exposure to UV rays
- A family history of skin cancer
But even those who aren’t “high risk” should still get regular skin checks in your doctor’s office.
What to Expect in Your Skin Exam
When you go in for your skin exam the doctor will do a head to toe assessment, with a focus on the scalp, face, trunk, limbs, hands, feet, and eyes, as well as small places you might not have considered like eyelids, ears, fingers, toenails, and toes.
It’s encouraged that you speak up if there are marks on your body that are concerning to you, so your doctor can prioritize those areas as well. For example, if there’s a history of melanoma, your doctor may look at your lymphatic regions, too.
How to Prepare for Your Skin Exam
Don’t feel anxious before your skin exam. Here are some things you can do ahead of time to get the most out of your time with your doctor.
- Do a skin self-exam – know what’s new on your body
- Remove all makeup, lipstick, and nail polish
- Gather your family’s history and note any skin cancer history
- Make a list of your current skin care routine including products that could cause skin changes
- Prepare to ask any questions about your skin (such as your skin type, the best products for your skin, and ways to improve your skin)
Protect Your Skin with MUTHA™
No matter the results you get, choosing a solid skincare routine is important to keep your skin looking rejuvenated and protect yourself from potential hazards. Hope developed MUTHA™ products to keep you looking like your best self.
Follow Hope on Instagram for more skincare tips and tricks. And make sure you schedule your yearly skin exam!