What is a skin cancer screening?

A skin cancer screening is full-body examination of the skin. During the exam, the patient undresses and puts on a gown to allow the entire skin surface, including the palms and soles and scalp to be checked for suspicious growths. The exam is quick and painless. Some people may be apprehensive about being completely undressed in front of a doctor or nurse. But, in our office extra care is taken to uncover only one small area of the body at a time to preserve one’s privacy.

How do I care for a wound after a procedure?

Wound Care Instructions

1. Remove present band-aid or dressing after 24 hours. Clean the wound gently with soap and water.

2. After cleansing, apply an antibiotic ointment, ie. Polysporin (double antibiotic) ointment, Bacitracin ointment, or Vaseline (white petroleum jelly). Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment is acceptable, but carries an increased risk of causing an allergic reaction, even if you’ve never developed a reaction in the past.

3. The wound should be cleaned and the dressing changed two times a day until the wound has healed completely. Keep the wound covered with a dressing at all times. Studies show that wounds heal faster when covered. Allowing the wound to “dry out” or develop a “scab” may result in painful or delayed healing.

4. Please call our office at (972) 649-6644 if you see signs of infection such as:

Increasing redness and swelling, yellow drainage (pus), or increasing tenderness or pain.

What is the advantage of seeing a dermatologist for a skin cancer screening?

A dermatologist specializes in the identification and treatment of skin cancer. Additionally, in our office skin cancer checks are performed with a dermatoscope. This is a hand-held optical device which magnifies skin lesions, allowing better differentiation between benign and malignant (cancerous) skin lesions. A more accurate exam means earlier diagnosis of malignancies, such as melanoma, and fewer unnecessary biopsies (surgical sampling) of benign (harmless) lesions.

How often should I get my skin checked?

For most adults, an annual full-body skin examination is recommended. Examinations may need to be performed more often for individuals identified as high risk for skin cancers due to personal or family history.

Do people of darker skinned racial groups need an annual skin examination?

Yes, skin cancers do occur in darker skinned ethnicities, such as those of Asian, Latino, African descent.

Is it safe to use the medications recommended to me for my skin if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

Many prescription and over-the-counter medications, including those that are applied topically, may pose dangers if taken during pregnancy or lactation. As with all medications, you should notify your doctor if you are or suspect that you are pregnant or if you are breastfeeding.

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