10 TIPS FOR THE 10 MINUTES THAT JUST MIGHT SAVE YOUR LIFE!
In the winter, when days are cold and blustery, we are less likely to think about the sun’s harmful rays and the potential for developing skin cancer. However, this is the perfect time to schedule your yearly skin exam with your Dermatologist!
If you reside in Colorado, you live in one of the sunniest locations in the United States, where year round the sun is shining during daylight hours more than 70% of the time. Sun damage and skin cancer are very real concerns in the Mile High City.
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, afflicting more than two million Americans each year. This number is rapidly on the rise, especially in Colorado, as the intensity of the sun increases with every 1000 feet of elevation. Studies conducted by the World Health Organization have shown that with every 1,000 feet of altitude over sea level, UV radiation levels increase 5-8%. Living at a high elevation, where sunlight is almost constant, makes UV exposure a year-round concern.
OUT OF ALL CANCERS, SKIN CANCER IS THE EASIEST TO CURE IF DIAGNOSED AND TREATED EARLY.
No one knows your body better than you do, so be diligent about performing self-exams and reporting any changes in your skin to your dermatologist. Self-exams, combined with yearly skin exams by your dermatologist, are essential in detecting skin cancers early. Early detection is the key to successful treatment.
“Research has shown that patients, not doctors, are most likely to spot melanoma because they are most familiar with changes on their own skin. In fact, more than half of all melanomas are detected by everyday people – just by paying attention to their or their loved ones’ skin.” – Dr. Richard Asarch, MD
Schedule an annual appointment with our office for you and your family. If you have a personal or family history of skin cancer or melanoma, we will schedule more routine appointments for you.
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR APPOINTMENT- 10 TIPS FOR THE 10 MINUTES THAT JUST MIGHT SAVE YOUR LIFE!
We understand that skin checks may cause anxiety, especially if you do not know what to expect. We have put together these 10 tips to help you prepare for your visit:
1. Before your appointment, perform a full body self-exam and make note of any new, changing or concerning moles or lesions.
2. Don’t be shy! Ask questions and speak up if you have concerns.
3. Try to relax. Skin exams are usually completed in 10 minutes!
4. Know your history. Your dermatologist will ask about things that could influence your risk of developing skin cancer and what tests and treatments can safely be done.
5. Don’t conceal your spots-reveal them! The idea of a skin check is to see all of your skin, so avoid wearing make-up or self-tanner.
6. Remove nail polish. Skin cancer can also form in your nail bed, so remove all polish from your fingernails and toenails.
7. Moisturize your skin a couple of times a day in the week leading up to your exam. This will make spotting any lesions easier for your dermatologist.
8. Avoid waxing or shaving several days before the exam, so that any small pimples, scabs or ingrown hairs have time to heal.
9. Your dermatologist will examine your skin from the top of your head to the soles of your feet, classifying each mole or lesion and explaining its cause to you.
10. If your dermatologist spots any suspicious moles or growths which require a biopsy, he/she will explain the process and the reason it is necessary.