By now, most people who spend a lot of time in the sun know that they need to keep an eye out for odd spots and changes on their skin. But many still don't know about skin checks, the all-over-body checks that let a dermatologist spot those spots you might not be able to see yourself. Because of the capricious nature of moles and other skin spots -- you never know when or where they'll appear -- it can be difficult to determine just how often you might need a skin check if you've avoided them so far.
Saying you need a skin check regularly might seem like common sense, but it's really what you should do. Choose an interval; a year is good. Schedule a fast skin check once a year. What will happen is the dermatologist will look over your skin fairly quickly. If there are spots that appear to be troublesome, then you might have to schedule another appointment to have them removed. If there are no troublesome spots, you go home for another year, or at least until you have another reason to go in.
When Something Changes or Appears
One of those other reasons to go in is when an existing spot changes. For example, if you have a mole on your arm that's been there a while, or another mole changes in size, you should see your doctor.
People who have a lot of moles know that sometimes you can have a bit of a pattern. Some people will see a new mole appear, grow rapidly for a few weeks, and then stop and never cause a problem; others will see rare moles that are almost always suspicious; and yet others will have some sort of combination pattern. You and your dermatologist can discuss what you've both noticed in terms of growth patterns for you so that, if you see a change or a new spot, you know whether to come back in for a check.
It's become more acceptable socially over the past few years to cover up in the sun with clothing that has an ultraviolet protection factor and to have skin that isn't suntanned, but the effects of sun exposure can show up years later. Continue to get regular skin checks so that your skin stays healthy and gorgeous.
To learn more, contact a practice such as Center Of Dermatology PC.