According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, every person should perform a head-to-toe self-exam on their skin every month.
This can help detect any new or changing lesions that may be cancerous or precancerous. Skin cancers that are detected and eliminated earlier are curable in most cases.
It may be beneficial for the patient to have a doctor perform a full-body examination initially. This will ensure that any existing freckles, spots, or moles are normal or the ones that are not can be treated.
The self-examination should not take over ten minutes after the first few times. This potentially life-saving examination requires no more than a few moments of time on the patient’s part.
Suncoast Skin Solutions, led by judicious board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski, provides noteworthy, concrete, and salient skin care treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brookesville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, The Villages Central Florida, Florida, and surrounding locations.
Why Self-Exams are Important
Among all types of cancers, skin cancers are the most common with more than 5.4 million non-melanoma skin cancer cases with over 3.3 million people in the US annually. It is also one of the easiest cancers to cure provided it is detected and treated early. However, when skin cancer is allowed to progress, it can cause disfigurement and in some cases, even death.
In addition, to annual skin examinations by a specialist in dermatology, self-exams are the most effective way to make sure that you do not become a statistic in the fight against cancer.
When to Perform a Self-Exam
If performed on a regular basis, self-exams can alert a person to changes in their skin as well as help in the timely detection of skin cancer. Self-exams should be performed frequently enough for it to become a habit, but not so often that undertaking it feels cumbersome.
Performing a self-exam once monthly is ideal. However, the patient should consult their doctor to understand if they need more frequent skin evaluations.
What Signs should you Look For?
The three main forms of skin cancer are squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Each type of cancer appears different. Therefore, it is crucial to know the early warning signs. The patient should specifically look for any kind of changes in the skin and not ignore a suspicious spot merely because it is not painful.
Skin cancer may not cause pain. However, this does not mean that it is a benign condition.
The patient should consult a doctor, preferably a skin disease specialist, immediately upon noticing one or more of the following warning signs:
- A skin growth that has a pearly, brown, tan, black, or multicolored appearance and increases in size.
- A birthmark, beauty mark, mole, or any brown spot that:
- Displays color changes
- Increases in thickness or size
- Changes texture
- Has an uneven outline
- Is larger than 6mm or 1/4″, a pencil eraser’s size
- Appears after the age of 21 years
- A spot or sore that itches, hurts, crusts, scabs, erodes, or bleeds continuously
- An open sore that fails to heal within a duration of three weeks
What to do if you detect a something Suspicious?
It is critical not to overlook a suspicious skin spot or change and consult a dermatologist promptly. Individuals should visit their dermatologist annually for a skin cancer exam and other skin assessments.
The successful Dr. Ewanowski’s skin care clinic is equipped to provide advanced medical and aesthetic skin care solutions to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brookesville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, The Villages Central Florida, Florida, and other towns and communities in this area of the marvelous state of Florida.
SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County, Brandon, Lutz (2 locations), Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Largo at Bardmoor, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, and Palm Harbor, Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.