Skin self-exam means checking your own skin regularly for any abnormal growths or unusual changes. A skin self-exam helps find any suspicious skin problems early. The earlier skin cancer is diagnosed, the better chance you will have for a cure.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommend that people perform a skin self-exam once a month.
The easiest time to do the exam may be after you take a bath or shower. Women may wish to perform their skin self-exam when they do their monthly breast self-exam. Men may want to do the skin self-exam when they perform their monthly testicular self-exam.
Ideally, the room should have a full-length mirror and bright lights so that you can see your entire body.
When you are performing the skin self-exam, look for:
Experts recommend that you examine your skin in the following way:
Always tell your doctor if:
Updated by: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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