It is recommended that every adult have a skin cancer examination with their family physician or a dermatologist at least once per year. Those who are at higher risk of developing skin cancer or who have had skin cancer in the past may need examinations more frequently. If this is your first time having a skin cancer examination completed, you may make common mistakes that can impact a doctor's ability to thoroughly check your body and skin for signs of skin cancer. Here are a few tips that will help you physically prepare for your first skin cancer examination.
Remove Nail Polish and Fake Nails Prior to Your Appointment
Prior to an appointment for a skin cancer examination, you should remove any nail polish from your fingers and toes, as well as remove your fake nails for the appointment. Skin cancer can develop around your nails and under your nails. Having your natural nails available allows a doctor to see if you have any signs of these issues, whereas fake nails and nail polishes can hide these problems.
Leave Your Hair Down For Your Appointment
As you prepare for a skin cancer examination, you should leave your hair down, if possible. If it is not possible, be prepared to remove clips, bobby pins, or ponytail holders for your appointment. Your scalp is one of the most common places for skin cancer to start to form due to sun exposure. As such, a dermatologist or doctor will need to closely look at the scalp, which involves being able to move your hair around.
Remove Any Makeup From Your Face Before Your Appointment
You should always arrive at your appointment without any makeup on your face. Makeup can hide moles and marks on your face that may be a sign of skin cancer. If you are coming to your appointment from work, bring along makeup removal cloths to easily and quickly remove your makeup prior to your appointment.
Avoid Shaving For a Few Days Prior to Your Appointment
Lastly, you should avoid shaving for a few days prior to your skin cancer examination. When you shave, you can knick the skin and cause ingrown hairs to develop. You want these items to be as healed as possible for an appointment, which is why you should stop shaving a few days prior to your appointment.
In addition to everything listed above, you should be sure to do an at-home examination. During this examination, look for any spots or growths on your body, especially those that have changed in color, shape, or size. Knowing where these spots are and being able to point them out to a doctor or dermatologist can be extremely helpful during a skin cancer examination.
For more information on a skin cancer examination, contact a professional near you.