A full-body skin exam, or skin cancer screening, is a visual exam that checks the skin for certain unusual marks which may be signs of skin cancer. Birthmarks, moles, and other suspicious spots that have an unusual color, size, shape, or texture are what dermatologists usually pay the most attention to during these screenings.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, and it occurs in four forms: actinic keratoses, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. With early detection through regular skin screenings and treatment, these cancers have a high cure rate.
Full-body skin examinations are best conducted by a dermatologist, who is trained to identify these spots or growths. While some general practitioners conduct routine skin exams, a doctor may refer you to a dermatologist who can do a more detailed examination. Dermatologists are also more familiar with disorders that affect the skin, hair, nails, and mucous membranes – so they are best at diagnosing and treating skin cancer, acne, psoriasis, rosacea, eczema, and more.