The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions
There are no specific guidelines available that recommend for or against regular skin screening. However, most organizations recommend monthly self skin exams. Look for any new moles, changes to current moles, or other unexplained changes in skin.
Skin self-exam—A visual check of your skin from head to toe. Tips for performing a skin self-exam include:
If you notice any changes in your skin, contact your doctor right away.
Skin exam by your doctor—If you have any increased risk for developing melanoma, an annual skin examination by a dermatologist may be appropriate. Your eye doctor should also check the back of your eyes for possible melanomas as part of your routine examination.
Melanoma. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115302/Melanoma. Updated January 10, 2017. Accessed March 16, 2017.
Skin exams. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/skin-cancer/prevention-and-early-detection/skin-exams.html. Updated July 26, 2016. Accessed March 16, 2017.
Last reviewed March 2017 by Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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