Wrong! There are many misconceptions about skin checks. Let's break down a few:
YOU ONLY NEED TO CHECK “PROBLEM” MOLES, NOT A FULL BODY CHECK
Nobody wants to put on those skimpy robes at their doctor’s office and it is tempting to only discuss the “problem” mole or freckle you may have identified with your Dermatologist. However, it may be the moles or freckles that you can’t see (on your back, scalp, earlobe, etc) or ones that look harmless that are the problem. With a trained eye and with the use of a magnifying Dermatoscope, Dermatologists should examine all moles to see if any growth or other changes have occurred from year to year.
SKIN CHECKS ARE NEEDED ONLY IF SKIN CANCER RUNS IN YOUR FAMILY
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more than 9500 U.S. citizens are diagnosed with skin cancer every day and more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other cancers combined. In addition, more than 58 million Americans are affected by precancerous lesions. Given the fact that so many Americans are diagnosed with pre-cancers and skin cancers each year, it is a good idea that everyone has an annual skin check by a qualified medical provider. Don’t put it off. Make skin checks and good sun protective practices part of your annual and daily routines like yearly physicals and brushing your teeth.
SENIORS DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT SUN EXPOSURE OR SKIN CHECKS
In the case of sun protection, age does NOT matter. Damage to the skin from ultraviolet (UV) radiation is cumulative throughout your life. It is currently estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70 and millions more are treated each year for precancerous lesions. So, the need for vigilance with sun protective practices never wanes.
Bottom Line: Annual full body skin checks are a good idea for everyone. Your Dermatologist can discuss with you whether more frequent skin checks are necessary.