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A lot of people don’t think much about their skin until they have a problem. In fact, unless you are a fan of makeup you probably don’t even think about it at all outside of ensuring you wash your face and body on a regular basis. However, the second a suspicious mole or discoloration shows up your skin will be the only thing that you can think about. With skin cancer on the rise, for many people, it is only a matter of time until a visit to the dermatologist pops up on their to-do list. So what should you expect from the field of dermatology?
Surprisingly a lot. Dermatology is one field that continues to make rapid advances every year. There are always new products and prescription creams debuting on the market and as skin cancer grows there is a growing field of innovative ways to treat it. Even people who think they know the skincare market inside and out are amazed at the secret creams that dermatologists in the Southlake area have up their sleeves. The simple truth of the matter is that if it deals with the skin, a dermatologist is the best solution every time.
Visit a Dermatologist Before Spending Hundreds in the Beauty Aisle
There are a million skincare products on the market, and they all want you to think that they will cure your problems, but the simple truth is if one of them actually worked don’t you think everyone would know? There is a reason why you don’t hear about an amazing fountain of youth or cream that everyone your age is using. It is because there isn’t one magic elixir. However, in the world of dermatology, there are effective solutions to common skin issues that aren’t on the shelf.
These medications are trialed, controlled, and properly overseen because they have the ability to help treat many skin ailments. You can keep pouring your money into beauty products that will not actually help (outside of sunscreen- that can help your skin immensely) or you can take the plunge and visit a dermatology practice to get real help for your concerns. Sometimes discolored skin and raised bumps are symptoms of other issues that require more than what the beauty aisle can get you at your local drug store. You won’t know until you allow a doctor at a local practice to get a good look.
When to Head to a Dermatologist for Skin Cancer
Skin cancer, also known as basal cell carcinoma can have many appearances during the early stages which is why it is important to always be alarmed by changes to your skin. Visiting a dermatology practice and finding out that something is simply a sign of aging is never going to hurt you, but skipping a visit and allowing skin cancer to progress is going to have potentially disastrous results so it is always best to be safe than sorry.
Some of the most common signs that skin cancer might be growing include a white or waxy bump, increased visible blood vessels, new scaly brown patches on the body, or sometimes a new waxy scar that forms independently of an injury. The most common places for skin cancer to appear are areas that receive the most sun such as the ears, face, and neck. Skin cancer is also common in the back and for men with thinning hair on the scalp. Keep in mind that while these are the most common areas to have patches of basal cell tumors, skin cancer can appear anywhere so always be on the lookout.
The Benefits of a Full-Body Skin Exam
Given the fact that skin cancer can appear at any stage of your life and/or in many forms, it is not a bad idea to book a full-body skin exam with a dermatology practice as you grow older. This type of exam is recommended for anyone that has spent a large amount of time in the sun or anyone that is over the age of 30. While that may seem young, keep in mind that repeated exposure to the sun is all it takes to develop skin cancer, and catching small clusters of basal cell carcinoma early is key in treatment.
However, some groups of people should see a dermatologist earlier to be checked for skin cancer. Children that are considered at high risk for skin cancer are actually recommended to start seeing the doctor at age 15. Risk factors that increase your chances of developing skin cancer include a family history of skin cancer, the presence of moles on the body, and those who spend a great deal of time in the sun unprotected. Regular indoor tanning also heightens your chances of developing skin cancer and should be considered a risk factor. Those with fair skin, blonde or red hair, and skin that easily burns are also at a heightened risk of skin cancer.
What Happens During a Skin Exam at a Dermatologist?
Skin cancer screening is non-invasive and is a fairly easy practice which is why it is recommended anyone with skin concerns book a screening at their local dermatology office. The actual screening is simply a visual exam that involves a doctor looking over a patient from head to toe. Patients wear a hospital gown but should not be concerned about any private areas being checked, although, if a patient has specific concerns about growth in a private region they should mention it to their doctor at which point it can be respectfully examined.
Now that you know how easy it is to get screened for skin cancer, it is time to make an appointment at your local dermatology office for a check-up in the Southlake area. Compassion Dermatology offers regular skin cancer screenings along with other exams for all patients that live in the Southlake area. Give us a call today to get your first visit scheduled.