Getting the Most Out of Your Skin Cancer Screening

When people call to book an appointment with our Florida-based dermatologists, they often schedule a “skin check,” but that term can be interpreted in many ways. To a dermatologist, a skin check signifies a head to toe examination looking for skin cancers, precancerous growths, and atypical moles. Most of the time and effort of the visit is dedicated to this detailed examination. I also attempt to address other skin concerns (acne, rashes, sunspots, warts, hair loss) during the visit, however, it can be difficult to fully address multiple concerns, in addition to, the full body skin cancer screening. Multiple skin concerns often require separate visits, so that each concern gets the attention it deserves. I can better prioritize our time together if I know your concerns and objectives at the beginning of the visit.

There are some important details to know before your skin cancer screening. First and foremost, I want you to feel at ease at your visit, but of course, the less you wear during the exam the better! My nurse will give you a gown and you can undress to your comfort level, but please understand that clothing/undergarments/socks do obscure the skin. It is best to come to your exam with a minimalist, au naturel approach.

Here are my tips to make your visit smooth and comprehensive:

  • Wear easy to remove clothing and shoes
  • Do not wear any makeup. Even light makeup camouflages the skin, which is the job it is intended to do. The same applies to eyeliner or lipstick. I really cannot see under makeup, and it can easily obscure a skin cancer.
  • Avoid hair products as I will examine your scalp during the exam
  • Skip the jewelry and watches
  • Leave off the perfume, moisturizers, and sunscreen (yes, even sunscreen!).  All these products get in the way of a thorough exam.
  • Remove nail polish or artificial nails. I cannot assess for nail changes, nail fungus, or growths under the nail if there is anything covering the nail.

The bottom line is this:  anything covering your skin blocks both my visual and tactile senses. I take your skin health very seriously and I aim to provide you with the most thorough exam possible. See you soon!

For more information about skin cancer, contact the Skin Wellness Physicians team online or call (239) 732-0044.

Dr. Anne Marie Tremaine

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