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Getting ready for a full skin examination

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. It is possible to have skin cancer in areas that don’t get a lot of sun exposure. Regular examinations of your skin can aid in the early detection of skin cancer and help in the maintenance of overall good health.

At your appointment, you will be asked questions about your history of sun exposure, including blistering sunburns and use of tanning beds. You will also be asked if you have had skin cancer or anyone in your family has had skin cancer. Additionally, if there are any new or changing spots or any spots that are worrying you, you will be asked to point them out during your exam. You will then change into an exam gown and a board-certified dermatologist will examine your skin. Since skin cancer can appear anywhere on your body, the examination is done from head-to-toe. Occasionally patients prefer a more limited exam or prefer to wear undergarments. Please just let you doctor know.

To get ready for your appointment:

Remove any nail polish and wear your hair down since your dermatologist will want to examine your nails and scalp. It is best to not wear makeup also. If you need to wear makeup, your doctor may ask you to remove it so she can do a thorough examination of your face. You may want to bring your makeup or whatever you need for touch-ups if it is removed during your examination. Please wear little or no jewelry so it is easier for your doctor to examine all of your skin.