The desert sun can be brutal all year long – but it’s even worse in the summer. It is very important to make sure you slather on the sunscreen, wear clothing that covers your skin, and stay indoors when the sun is at its hottest. It’s also important to see your doctor if a growth on your skin just doesn’t seem right. Here is some more information on abnormal skin growths and signs you should see your dermatologist for a skin growth exam.
What happens during a skin growth exam?
Your dermatologist knows what to look for – he or she knows what growths are perfectly normal and which ones need attention. In a skin growth exam, a dermascope (a bright light and a magnifying lens) is used to scan your skin’s surface. It is quick and painless, but may end up saving your life – skin cancer can be deadly, but if it is caught early it is very treatable.
The dermatologist will check for moles and growths that are asymmetric, have blurred edges, have an irregular pigmentation, and/or are larger than 6 mm in diameter.
When should I schedule a skin growth exam?
If you have had skin cancer before (or any of your family members have had it) or if you have had bad sunburns in the past, you should be especially vigilant about your skin and any new growths, and make sure to perform self-exams often. If you have a suspicious growth, if you have a rash or a sore that doesn’t heal or suddenly looks drastically different, if you have a lesion that is painful or burning, or if you have more than 50 moles on your body and they seem to be appearing at a fast rate, you should call your doctor immediately.
Skin cancer can strike anyone of any skin tone, no matter how much time you spend in the sun, and it can be very dangerous – it is estimated that two people die of skin cancer every hour. If you see a new growth on your skin that looks suspicious, don’t wait. Call Stockton Dermatology in Phoenix, AZ, today to schedule your skin growth exam. Call (480) 610-6366!