Yearly Skin Checks

When your car says it needs an oil change, you get an oil change. Because a car is an investment, and it’s important to you. If something is important it makes sense to take care of it, right?

This is exactly the reason we urge our patients to have an annual skin exam, as part of their health and wellness routine. Staying on top of skin health is critical because your skin is an organ, and not just any organ: it’s the largest one you have! Despite this, it’s often overlooked in terms of checks and care.

It is best practices to have an annual skin exam with your dermatologist. Staying on top of these exams is critical for prevention, early detection, and consistent awareness.

An extra set of {expert} eyes matter!

There are plenty of times when having that extra pair of eyes is necessary. Think of your skin like a book; it tells a story. An editor looks over a novel draft, because the writer has been immersed in the writing process for so long that there will be mistakes they’ll miss: timeline discrepancies, plot holes, or spelling and grammar mistakes. An editor comes in with their fresh set of eyes, checks over the work, and gives the author next steps for improving.Yearly Skin Checks

Skin checks serve the same purpose! You look at yourself a lot, and that means things you consider “normal” could very well be “off”. When a trained dermatologist checks you from head to toe, you receive critical input and opinions about the health of your skin. They can more accurately determine whether those marks and spots are within the bounds of average or if they’re a cause for concern. Often times, changes that occur on the skin can be indicators of hidden systemic issues; a trained professional will be able to pick up on those changes.

That extra set of eyes can also check your blind spots. There are places on your back that you can’t get a good look at --no matter how many mirrors and angles you attempt to use. It is critical that you enlist the help of a dermatologist to take a look for you.

Additionally, documentation of abnormal or suspicious spots ensures that the dermatologist can keep an eye on them in the months between appointments. With photos and measurement records, dermatologists can assess if the size, shape, color, or borders of the spot have changed since your last visit. This is a critical step in early detection, and is best done by a trained professional.  

This isn’t to say that you should forgo any self-examination; we advise the opposite! In between appointments, you can perform self-examinations to keep an eye on your skin. Work with your dermatologist to learn the signs of changing spots, and become an advocate for your skin health. That way if something changes, you’ll know, and won’t have to wait for your yearly check-up to make sure all is well.

Your skin protects you, and it needs to be taken care of in order for it to work its best. Just as you’d go see an optometrist for annual eye checks or an audiologist for hearing checks, seeing a dermatologist ensures nothing on your skin goes unchecked. If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment for the new year, contact us to start 2019 off right!