The Importance of Skin Self-Exams Especially During and After Summer


It is essential that you self-examine your skin at various points during the year. However, it is most important that you keep an eye on any change in your skin during the summer and right after.

When the season changes and we are faced with being outdoors more often, keeping up with skin care should be foremost on our mind. Even if you are at an outdoor barbecue and the sun is high in the sky, just because you are not wearing your bathing suit and at the beach does not mean that you are not at risk.

If you have pre-existing moles or are prone to freckles, it is imperative to keep an eye for any changes in shape, size, or color.

How to Begin Skin Self-Examinations

1. First start by getting to know your body; pay attention to moles, freckles, and spots.

2. Take a good look at these things and get familiar with them. Notice the different characteristics.

3. Take a good look in a full-length mirror to check your skin from head to toe.

4. Using a smaller hand-held mirror, check your back and neck as well.

5. Check your skin every six to eight weeks and make notes of any changes. Any change you see is something you must bring to your doctor's attention.

The importance of skin self-examination can get forgotten, as most individuals do not think of checking their own skin from time to time to monitor for changes. However, the potential for detecting early skin cancer and treating it are significant if you do regular skin self-examinations. As with any type of cancer, early detection is key.

Continuing Skin Self-Examination

It is important to continue skin self-exams every six to eight weeks and more importantly, during the summer months.

If you see any changes in the moles or freckles or any part of your skin that looks or feels differently from your initial exam, then contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Visit your skin doctor at least once per year for a full exam in addition to your own self-exams.

The more exposure you have to the sun at an earlier age, the bigger your chances are of reaping the unfortunate results of too many ultraviolet rays. The more diligent you are about skin self-examinations, however, the better your chances of having healthier skin and detecting any problems early on.

So, while it may not be uppermost in your mind, it is important to do your own regular skin examinations.