Full Skin Examination
Rumours sometimes circulate that full skin examinations aren’t particularly useful in detecting skin cancer and preventing early death. Common sense would disagree with this approach as any cancer found early will be easier to treat successfully. Professional skin examinations and self-examinations are helpful in detecting many skin cancers, including melanoma.
Studies published in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute have shown that self-examination alone can reduce the risk factors associated with melanoma by more than 60 percent. A full skin examination at a professional dermatology clinic is even more effective as melanoma and other skin cancers are detected at an earlier stage of development.
Skin examinations help treating doctors and dermatologists to diagnose several cancer types. Most skin cancers don’t metastasise (spread) and are rarely fatal, including basal cell carcinoma, the most common variety of skin cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma is also easily detected, along with a variety of harmless growths such as benign moles, skin tags and sun spots. Full skin examinations held at regular intervals result in patients being properly informed about their skin condition and overall health.
Dermatology full skin examination
Dermatologists undergo specialised training for diagnosing, treating and managing skin cancers. General physicians often refer patients to dermatologists for specific treatments or an added level of expertise. In many cases, a dedicated practice such as Pymble Dermatology is the best treatment option, especially for patients who require regular skin examinations. A full skin examination takes only 10-15 minutes, providing time for the patient to ask any questions about his or her condition.
The patient’s medical and family history is also considered to determine if there are genetic factors at play. A professional dermatologist will inform and educate patients about what to look for during self-examinations. Any concerning growth, including changes to the colour, shape or size of moles can be examined, with a biopsy sent for analysis if required. In every case, a dermatologist will diagnose and treat disease with appropriate remedial measures for best outcomes.
A full skin examination is from head-to-toe, typically starting at the top, with close attention given to the ears, nose and neck – all areas that are easily exposed to the sun. Every area of the body can be examined, including fingers and toes, while underwear can be worn if covering up is preferable. Your dermatologist will possibly use a dermatoscope to illuminate and magnify the skin, locating the smallest of growths and the slightest of skin changes. Dermatologists dedicate years to perfecting this very task, so it’s good for patients to know they are in the safest possible hands.
Time isn’t wasted with a dermatology clinic skin examination. Your doctor is easily able to hone in on the smallest of growths while seemingly ignoring larger marks on a patient’s body. A dermatologist understands the priority of treating malignant growths prior to embarking on cosmetic improvements solely for the sake of appearances. Any lesion that appears suspicious is taken seriously by a dermatologist, especially those who are attuned to listening to patient concerns. Every growth needs to be addressed accordingly if patients are to take the next recovery steps with confidence. Your dermatologist will take notes and photos of suspicious growths, while referring to previous medical records when required.
Skin examination with treatment
Reputable dermatology clinics provide surgical assistance along with clinical advice and diagnosis, with many unwanted skin growths easily removed in a sterile clinical environment. Pymble Dermatology is a team practice of professionally trained staff and highly qualified practitioners using the latest technology to treat all skin conditions. A full skin examination is the first step in treating skin cancer and other conditions. Typical dermatology procedures include:
- Cryotherapy – using liquid nitrogen for removal of lesions including harmless skin cancers and pre-cancerous growths
- Skin Biopsy – taking a small sample of the lesion for laboratory analysis as a precaution, or prior to further treatment
Unlike skin self-examination, a clinical examination will accurately identify skin growths, plus facilitate feedback from your dermatologist along with an investigation of treatment options. A full skin examination procedure can be adjusted for patient comfort and convenience, with good health and positive outcomes a great reward all-round.