Best Rx: Should I have a full skin examination?

piyush ramanAtlanta’s local doctors provide answers to all your medical questions. One Best Self reader asked: Why should I have a full skin examination and what does it involve?

Piyush Raman, MD of Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics Center answered: Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. In fact, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Thus, the early detection of skin cancer can be a lifesaving measure. When you see a dermatologist for a complete skin checkup, expect a head-to-toe skin examination.
Always point out any moles or growths that are changing, bleeding or not healing during the examination. If a lesion is suspicious for cancer, a biopsy may be performed. Depending on the results of the biopsy, your dermatologist will discuss a treatment plan to ensure that it is treated properly, completely and in a timely manner. A full body skin exam should be done yearly or more often if needed.

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