Full-Body Skin Exams
What Are Full-Body Skin Exams?
Many skin issues are easily noticeable, like acne, psoriasis and hives. However, other issues may not be as easily identifiable, such as moles, sunspots and other blemishes that can go unnoticed. Growths and marks like this can be signs of more serious issues, so a full-body skin exam is a great way to identify and evaluate if problems exist.A full-body skin exam is a visual check for unusual marks that could signal skin cancer or other health issues. Birthmarks, moles and other suspicious spots with an unusual color, size, shape or texture are typically what dermatologists and providers are searching for. If suspicious areas are found, patients usually undergo a biopsy, treatment and finally a follow-up. If an issue is found, the right treatment will be recommended after the biopsy. Finding and treating the issue early will greatly help in preventing more serious health issues and complications later on.
What Should I Expect?
If you’ve never had a full-body skin exam, expect it to take around 15 to 20 minutes. Your doctor will ask you to remove your clothing and wear an exam gown for the head-to-toe exam. They will check your scalp, ears, toes, fingers, buttocks and genitals for any suspicious growths or spots, and use special equipment with a light to see the marks clearly. You may be asked to remove hail polish, make-up or anything that may be covering your skin and nails.
Who Should Get Full-Body Skin Exams?
Everyone should get full skin screenings regularly from their doctors, but some patients are at higher risk for problems. If you have any of the following, you should especially receive regular, full skin checks:
- Skin that burns or freckles easily.
- Lighter skin tone.
- A family history of skin cancer.
- A large number of moles.
- Frequent sun exposure on a regular basis.
- A past recipient of an organ transplant.