What is a skin examination?

Skin examinations are one aspect of screening used to detect and diagnose diseases of the skin, hair and nails. Typically, a full body skin exam can be done in about 10 minutes and should be done at least once per year. In some people, skin exams are recommended more frequently depending on your skin type, immune status, family history, and prior medical history. Dermatologists diagnose and treat about 3,000 different entities including skin cancer. The need for regular skin exams cannot be over emphasized due to the prevalence of skin cancer, especially in Florida, the sunshine state!

What if the dermatologist finds something?

If a suspicious lesion is noted during your skin examination then a skin sample, also called a skin biopsy, may be recommended.  Prior to the biopsy, a local anesthetic is used to prevent discomfort and then a small sample of the lesion is sent to the lab. At the laboratory, a dermatopathologist will review your skin biopsy at the cellular level and render a final diagnosis. Typically the diagnosis will be made within a few days and we will notify you of the results as soon as we receive them. If the diagnosis is benign then no further treatment is necessary. Common benign skin lesions are discussed here . If skin cancer is proven, then you will be notified of the treatment options and recommendations. To learn more about skin cancer click here