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Why Do Dermatologists Advice For Routine Skin Check?

Your skin is your body’s largest organ, protecting you from harmful substances, bacteria, and serving other essential functions. That’s why dermatologists like Sundoctors Australia always stress the importance of regular full-body skin check. Performing routine checks and promptly seeking a dermatologist’s care when you notice any changes or abnormalities could save your life.

Skin Cancer Risks

The most crucial reason dermatologists recommend self skin checks and annual screening is early detection of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer worldwide. Over 5 million cases are diagnosed annually in the United States alone. When detected and treated early, skin cancer survival rates are over 95%. However, survival plummets below 50% when it reaches advanced stages and spreads to other organs.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, accounting for a majority of skin cancer deaths. One American dies from melanoma every hour. At the same time, melanoma is among the most treatable cancers if detected early. Checking your skin means you could catch this aggressive cancer before it becomes life-threatening.

The risk of developing skin cancer also increases substantially as we age. Rates of melanoma have been rising over 3-4% yearly for unknown reasons. Due to the aging population, doctors predict a continued climb in cases over the next 20 years. Therefore, it becomes even more vital to monitor your skin past middle age through routine checks.

When to Conduct Self-Exams

Dermatologists advise everyone regardless of age to perform periodic skin self-exams. For most, checking monthly is ideal, while those at higher risk may need to do checks more frequently.

The best time is after a shower or bath when your skin is clean and pores are open. Ensure you have adequate lighting as well as a large mirror, hand mirror, smartphone camera, or family member’s assistance to see all areas. A self-exam involves looking over your entire body for any new or changing moles or spots and feeling for alterations in existing marks or skin texture. Use the ABCDE guidelines while checking each area:

A – Asymmetry – One half is unlike the other

B – Border – Irregular, ragged edges

C – Color – Varied colors or patchy

D – Diameter – Larger than a pencil eraser

E – Evolving – Changes in any trait

Log your self-exams with notes & images to monitor spots for changes indicating abnormal growths.

Seeing a Dermatologist Annually

Self-checks allow you to know your skin and be alert to transformations between exams. But you also need a trained specialist evaluating your skin at least once yearly. Dermatologists have expertise in diagnosing skin diseases at initial stages when they are most treatable.

During an annual full-body screening, your dermatologist can find developing skin cancers you might miss. Some studies show detection rates by experts can exceed 50% compared to under 14% for self-exams. Advanced equipment like dermatoscopes provides further accuracy. Plus, a dermatologist understands your risk profile and might recommend biannual or more frequent visits for those at higher susceptibility.

In addition to scanning for skin cancer, annual checks by a dermatologist help assess possible pre-cancerous growths. They can also identify other common skin disorders in early phases, determine causes of symptoms, provide treatment plans like Sculptra Treatment and prevent progression. Catching conditions early keeps damage and complications to a minimum.

Scheduling regular professional checks ensures any abnormal skin growths are promptly dealt with before posing significant health risks. When combined with self-exams between office visits, you have the best prevention against advanced skin disease.

Remember Skin Cancer Warning Signs

While checking your skin monthly and seeing a dermatologist annually are the primary prevention methods, remaining vigilant about skin cancer warning signs is also key. Be on the lookout and contact your doctor if you observe any of the following:

  • New spot or mole
  • Mark that changes shape, color, size, or border
  • Spot that looks varied from others
  • Mark or sore that won’t heal
  • Painful, bleeding, or itching lesion
  • Large brownish stain-like patches

By being aware of the signs, you can detect developing skin cancer between exams and seek rapid diagnosis. Don’t ignore skin changes or damage assuming it’s harmless. When in doubt, have your dermatologist evaluate it right away. The earlier skin cancer is identified, the better your prognosis.

Conclusion

Checking your own skin monthly along with yearly dermatologist skin checks provides the best odds of finding skin cancers early. When detected at initial stages, skin cancer is highly curable. Ignoring warning signs and failing to monitor moles and marks means you miss the critical window for effective treatment. As skin cancer cases rise, routine checks become more essential than ever. Following recommendations from dermatologists just might save your life.

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