According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is one of the most common cancers and affects nearly two million Americans every year. Despite its high prevalence, skin cancer is also completely preventable if you follow the right skin care regimen and detection practices.
At JUVA Skin & Laser Center in Manhattan, our experienced dermatologist wants to stress the importance of having regular skin cancer screenings. To schedule a skin cancer screening at our NYC office, please contact us today by calling (212) 688-5882.
Skin Cancer Screenings By Our NYC Dermatologists
Our board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Bruce Katz, encourages you to have regular skin cancer screenings. Skin cancer is very prevalent, but it is also very treatable, especially when it’s caught early. During your skin cancer screening, we will utilize our years of experience and the best technology to check your entire body for any signs of skin cancer.
We ask that you arrive to the appointment without any makeup or nail polish on so we can accurately assess your skin. Skin cancer can form on your face, which sees a lot of sun exposure, or in your nail beds. We want to be able to see any discoloration or other warning signs during your examination.
We will ask you questions about any concerns you have and make note of any moles, dark spots, or other markings to keep a watch over. You are the most likely person to notice small changes. Please bring them to our attention for examination.
A typical exam for someone who has never had any issues takes about 10 minutes, but the more moles you have, the longer it will take. Your dermatologist may biopsy any suspicious growth to examine under a microscope.
If you have never done a self evaluation, talk with your dermatologist about how you can properly examine your own skin and your family’s skin at home. We can show you what to look for when you do your at-home screenings.
A simple skin cancer screening is the best way to catch skin pre-cancer and skin cancer early.
At-Home Skin Cancer Screenings
In addition to visiting your dermatologist every year for a skin cancer screening, we also encourage you and your family to take charge of your own skin care by performing self skincare checkups every month.
During these checkups, we encourage you to scan the entirety of your skin, looking for abnormalities, growths, and moles. Also, when you have a mole or any other skin marking (including a birth mark), you need to monitor it for changes.
Remember the ABCDEs of melanoma detection when examining moles:
- Asymmetry: one half is not like the other half
- Border: the edge of the mole is irregular or has a poorly defined border
- Color: variations in color can include tan, brown, black and even white, red, or blue
- Diameter: greater than 6mm, roughly the size of a pencil eraser
- Evolving: changes in shape, size, or color
Patients often ask about raised moles or moles that have been chafed or irritated by clothing. In general, these moles are not a cause for concern. A benign mole that is rubbed by jeans or a bra strap will not become cancerous because of that irritation.
However, any changes in size, shape, color, or thickness are moles or skin lesions that should be checked by your dermatologist. If you notice any changes or abnormalities, no matter how trivial they may seem, don’t hesitate to schedule your appointment. Early detection allows for the most effective treatment.
Ways To Prevent Skin Cancer
While skin cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers, it is also one of the easiest to prevent. If you care for your skin in the proper manner and take the necessary steps to keep it from becoming damaged, you can have healthy skin for life.
The vast majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, which come from the sun. Here are some important steps to follow to protect your skin from the sun and keep it healthy:
- Always wear sunscreen no matter what type or color of skin you have
- Wear broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher to protect against both UVA and UVB rays
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and reapply at least every two hours of continuous sun exposure
- Avoid the sun and enjoy the shade during peak UV hours (typically between 10am and 4pm)
- Use extra care when exposed to reflective surfaces such as water, sand, or snow, which can intensify the sun’s rays and increase your chance of sunburn
- Wear a hat and other protective clothing, such as long sleeves an pants, whenever possible
- Protect your skin using cover-ups or other protective clothing
- Keep infants out of the sun
- Do not “lay out” in the sun or utilize a tanning salon
- Get vitamin D safely with a healthy diet full of foods rich in vitamin D
- Perform monthly self checkups on your skin
- Visit our New York dermatologists every year for a skin cancer screening
Contact Our Manhattan Dermatologists Today
If you believe you may have an area on your skin that needs to be examined or if you’d like to start visiting our dermatologists annually for preventative screenings, please contact JUVA Skin & Laser Center today using our online form or by calling us at (212) 688-5882 to schedule your skin cancer screening. We welcome patients from in and around the entire New York City area.