How to Do a Skin Care Self-Exam
CONDUCTING REGULAR SELF-EXAMS IS A SIMPLE YET EFFECTIVE WAY TO DETECT ANY ABNORMALITIES OR CHANGES IN THE SKIN EARLY ON, ALLOWING FOR TIMELY INTERVENTION. WHILE SKIN CANCERS TYPICALLY MANIFEST ON AREAS EXPOSED TO THE SUN, THEY CAN DEVELOP ANYWHERE ON THE BODY. THEREFORE, A COMPREHENSIVE SELF-EXAMINATION SHOULD ENCOMPASS ALL PARTS OF THE BODY.
ARE YOU SUSPICIOUS
If you find anything suspicious during a self-exam or notice changes to your skin, make an appointment with a dermatologist to get a proper medical evaluation. If you don’t already have a dermatologist, you can also go to a primary care doctor, who can provide guidance on next steps and refer you to a dermatologist. By paying close attention to your skin health, you may also be able to identify other skin conditions that are treatable, like:
- contact allergies
- certain rashes
- other skin-related diseases
HOW TO PERFORM A SKIN CARE SELF-EXAM
To conduct a thorough self-examination, you'll need a large mirror and a hand mirror in a well-lit room. Take your time and follow these steps:
- Begin by examining your face, neck, ears, and abdomen in front of a large mirror.
- Lift your arms to inspect the armpits and the underside of your arms.
- Check both sides of your hands, including the spaces between your fingers and under your fingernails.
- Sit down and examine the front of your thighs, shins, and the tops of your feet.
- Using a hand mirror, assess the back of your thighs, calves, and the soles of your feet.
- Stand up and use the hand mirror to examine your buttocks and genital area.
- Then, facing the wall mirror, inspect your back and the back of your neck.
- Use a hand mirror to examine your scalp, parting your hair if necessary.
- Lastly, using a mirror, look inside your mouth for any white patches or black spots on the gums, top or bottom of tongue, or inside the cheeks.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
During the examination, pay close attention to any changes in existing moles, freckles, or birthmarks, as well as the appearance of new marks or growths. Look out for signs such as changes in shape, size, color, or texture, as well as any lesions that itch, bleed, or fail to heal. Follow the ABDCE rule:
- Asymmetry. The shape of one-half of the skin lesion does not match the other.
- Border. The edges are ragged, notched, uneven, or blurred.
- Color. Shades of black, brown, and tan may be present. ...
- Diameter. The diameter is usually larger than 6 millimeters (mm) or has grown in size
SKIN CANCER RISK
Skin cancers can affect individuals of all skin tones, with people of color facing unique challenges in early detection. It's essential to remain vigilant and seek professional evaluation if any suspicious symptoms arise.
WHEN TO SEEK HELP
If you notice anything concerning during the self-examination, promptly schedule an appointment with a dermatologist or primary care physician for further evaluation. Early detection is key to successful treatment and improved outcomes.
FREQUENCY OF SELF-EXAMS
While there are no strict guidelines for self-examination frequency, performing checks every month or two is generally recommended. Consistency is crucial in monitoring skin health and detecting any changes early on.
PROFESSIONAL SKIN EXAMS
In addition to self-exams, annual skin exams by a dermatologist are advisable, especially for individuals with a history of skin cancer. Professional assessments complement self-exams and provide comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis.
SKIN CARE SELF-EXAMS PLAY A VITAL ROLE IN MAINTAINING SKIN HEALTH AND DETECTING POTENTIAL ISSUES PROMPTLY. BY INCORPORATING REGULAR SELF-EXAMINATION INTO YOUR ROUTINE, YOU CAN TAKE PROACTIVE STEPS TOWARDS MINIMIZING THE RISK OF SKIN CANCER AND OTHER DERMATOLOGICAL CONCERNS.
DAILY FACE PROTECT SPF50
SUNSCREEN IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF A COMPLETE SUN PROTECTION STRATEGY TO SAFEGUARD YOUR SKIN AGAINST SUN DAMAGE AND SKIN CANCER.
SUNSCREEN EVERY DAY YES EVERY DAY!
Decrease your risk of skin cancers and skin precancers. Studies show that regular daily use of a broad spectrum sunscreen, when used as directed, can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by about 40 percent, and lower your melanoma risk by 50 percent.
Taking care of your skin is so much more than just a face cream you put on your face. We love to share our knowledge with you. The Read is our way of showing you we care about your skin, body and mind.