Cancer – Skin Check

Skin checks allow you and your dermatologist to know the state of your skin. Having a baseline assessment and follow-up checks are important ways to understand your risk for skin cancer as well as detecting any atypical skin growths. Early detection provides the best chance for successful treatment.

What is a Skin Check?

A dermatologist checks and evaluates your skin for unusual changes that can be precancerous or skin cancer. It is best to have a baseline skin check by your dermatologist as a young adult, or earlier if you have a family history of melanoma.

How Often Should You Go To a Dermatologist for a Skin Check?

While anyone can get skin cancer, there are certain skin types that have a greater risk associated with them. Once your dermatologist determines your risk, you will be given a recommendation on how often to examine your skin.

Those at high risk may need to be assessed every few months by a dermatologist. Those at a lower risk may need to be checked every year or two by a dermatologist.

You can also check your skin at home and contact your dermatologist if you see or feel something new or abnormal.

What Are Skin Cancer Risk Factors?

  • Skin type: If you have fair skin you are at greater risk for skin cancer. However, you can have dark skin and still get skin cancer.
  • Geography: Rays are stronger if you are closer to the equator or live at a high elevation.
  • Exposure to UV Rays from the sun: The amount of sun exposure and sun burns can contribute to risk.
  • Genetics: If you have a family history of skin cancer, you are a more likely candidate for skin cancer.
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