Did you know that in the US, over 9,500 people are diagnosed daily with skin cancer? Using tanning beds or getting discoloration from being exposed to the sun for long hours could increase your risk of skin cancer so it’s important to take good care of your skin. There are some skin examination hacks you can follow to know what is happening to your skin. That means you will easily notice any abnormalities in your skin before they develop into a significant issue.
Relevance of Skin Examinations
Skin cancer is brought about by tanning beds or sun damage. Skin examination is crucial to understand what is going on. You need a long, hand-held mirror in a well-lit room to examine your skin. Dermatologist Dr. William Kwan proposes a full-body skin check once every month. That could include your face, scalp, hands, front and backside of your body, and even your genitals. For women, make sure you lift your breasts and examine them.
Keep track of any abnormalities or spots you may come across when examining your skin and where exactly they were. You could take a picture or video of the spot to easily find where you saw it or use the outline of your body. Assessing that spot and tracking its appearance over time, using that documentation, will let you know whether there are any changes.
How Do I Examine My Skin?
It is advisable to examine your skin once every month after a bath. If you cannot do so, you could always ask for help from your partner or a family member. They can help you see places like your back that are difficult to see by yourself. Here is a breakdown of how to examine your skin:
- Ensure you have two mirrors – a hand mirror and a full-length mirror
- Examine the back side of your body in the mirror and the front part. Then examine the sides of your body, having raised your arms.
- Assess the inside part of your mouth. Examine the lips, tongue, and cheeks.
- Bend your elbows and examine your upper arms, forearms, and the space between your palms and fingers.
- Assess your feet and the back side of your legs. Examine the space between your toes and the soles of your feet.
- Check your neck and back of the scalp using the mirrors. You could use the help of your hairdresser or barber to point out any spots.
As you examine the body, look for any blemishes, moles, or birthmarks. You could use a ruler to find out how big these marks are and note their shape and color. Document the changes in these spots every time you examine your skin. If you notice changes in color, size, or form or develop a sore, visit a physician for medical attention or assessment. This is especially important if you have bleeding or itching spots.
Schedule a Consultation
Kwan Dermatology creates customized treatment programs for patients, including fillers and Botox, for better aesthetic outcomes. We help our patients feel and look their best. We do this via a wide variety of services, including help with skin irritation, rough, dry skin, or acne. Whatever your skin issue is, we will gladly help you out. Give us a call at 415.217.3880 or fill out our online form for a skin assessment and treatment.