How is it done?

Because this is a full skin check, you will remove all of your clothes and wear a gown. Your healthcare provider will check all the areas of your skin. Your healthcare provider will ask about your history of skin cancer and if anyone in your family has had skin cancer. They may ask you questions about how long you have had certain marks or moles and if you have noticed any changes. The healthcare provider may use a magnifier to look at your skin to find any marks or moles more easily. If a dermatologist is doing the exam and finds any growths that may be a problem, they may remove them right in the office.

What are the risks?

A skin exam doesn’t have any risks or side effects. It is just a visual check of the skin.

What are the benefits?

Regular skin exams—by yourself and by a healthcare provider—can help find skin cancer early. When it’s found early, skin cancer is often curable. This is especially important for melanoma, a serious skin cancer that can eventually spread to other parts of the body.

How do I prepare?

You can prepare for your skin exam with your healthcare provider by having clean skin and nails. Remove nail polish and don’t cover marks or moles with makeup.

Do a skin self-exam before you go so you can tell your healthcare provider about any concerning moles, marks, or growths.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I know the results?

Your healthcare provider will tell you right after the exam if there are any concerns that should be checked further.