Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and it affects millions of people each year. This dangerous disease causes your skin cells to rapidly grow until they create visible marks on the body. While skin cancer can potentially lead to death, it can usually be easily treated and cured when found early. Due to the benefits of detecting skin cancer early, an at-home skin check should be part of your normal routine.
An at-home skin check is a head-to-toe examination of your body looking for any potential signs of skin cancer. This self-examination test should be performed every month to ensure that you find any potential problems as soon as possible. You will want a bright light and several mirrors to make the at-home skin check much easier. It is also recommended that you detail your results on a body map so you can easily compare the results with future tests.
Your at-home skin check should include examining your face. While you should take a close look at your entire face, skin cancer prominently shows up near the nose, lips, mouth and ears. In addition to your face, you should look at your scalp. You may need a comb, a blow dryer or another person to help you see everything on the scalp. You should also check the hands, wrists and forearms for any suspicious marks. Once you have completed the lower half of your arms, it is time to check your elbows and underarms using a mirror.
You will need to use several mirrors to examine your entire back, buttocks and the back of each leg. After this is completed, you may move on to the neck, stomach and chest. You will also need to examine your legs and feet. This is much easier to achieve if you sit down and use a chair to prop up your legs.
You should be looking for any moles, skin growths, beauty marks or sores throughout the entire at-home skin check. If you find one of these on your body, then you should mark the exact spot, size and color on a body chart. If these marks change size or color at any point, then it is time to get checked out by a professional.
The entire at-home skin check should only take you approximately 10 minutes, so there is no reason to skip this vital examination. Taking these 10 minutes to perform a monthly skin examination can potentially save your life.
Skin cancer does not have to be a deadly disease if you take the time to perform an at-home skin check on a regular basis. In addition to checking yourself at home, it is important to get your skin regularly examined by a professional. With locations in Manhattan, Atlantic Highlands, Fresno and Hanford, Rao Dermatology offers skin exams for anyone in need of a professional skin check. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.