At Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands, we see those skin checks saves lives on a near-daily basis. Skin cancer rates have been on the rise in our country for decades. Melanoma is the third most common skin cancer and has the greatest tendency to be lethal. Per year in the United States, there are more than 100,000 new cases of melanoma diagnosed. When it comes to the diagnosis of melanoma, the single most important thing is early detection. Early detection saves lives by allowing us to catch melanoma in its earliest stages when it can be easily cured.
Skin Checks Saves Lives
The total body skin examination performed by a medical provider who has the experience and focuses on practicing dermatology is an extremely valuable tool at making an early diagnosis in melanoma cases. This examination is very easy for patients, requiring them to simply dress down to a gown to enable most of their skin to be examined. In most cases, this head-to-toe skin check takes only a few minutes to perform. The best dermatologists know how to efficiently and thoroughly examine the entirety of a person’s skin, sorting out the good from the bad spots.
The requirements for the examination are very simple:
- Good bright set of overhead lights
- Handheld magnifying light source
- An experienced set of eyes
At Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands, we use a special device known as a Dermlite which has two different sets of light-emitting diodes to allow examination of both the surface and subsurface skin features. The use of this device in experienced hands can greatly improve the accuracy of melanoma detection.
Though not everyone needs to have a complete skin exam performed, most of us do and most of us who need this are not having it performed often enough. Certain conditions should be considered when trying to determine the importance of an individual needing a complete skin examination.
In general, in our clinics, we recommend that all adult patients have this examination performed annually. It is generally less important for children unless they have certain high-risk factors such as a family history of melanoma, multiple moles, or specific types of skin spots (such as large birthmark moles). Having a full-body skin examination is especially important for those of us with fair complexions. For example, we know that having red hair is an independent risk factor for melanoma. Generally, the fairer we are and therefore the more easily we can sunburn, the greater the odds are we can develop skin cancer.
Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands | Best Dermatologist Omaha & Council Bluffs, IA | Board Certified Dermatologists
Through the exceptional clinical care and numerous examinations we perform in our clinics, the dermatology providers at Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands have diagnosed hundreds of melanoma. As many of these cases were very early and easily cured, numerous lives were saved. If current numbers hold, it looks like we will diagnose even more cases going forward. We frequently identify melanomas in practice that patients were not even aware of on their skin.
This year already our dermatologists have found many such melanomas. This includes melanoma on the back of patients’ ears that they were not aware of; melanoma under their jewelry that they had not seen; and melanomas on their low back that they did not know about. These are just a few examples of cases where having a skin check detected a curable melanoma. We see these types of cases all the time.
We hope you find this information helpful. Please consider it very thoroughly and think about the importance of having a skin examination performed. Spread the word of how important this is to your friends and family. By doing that, you too might be helping someone to have a simple examination that could save their life. If we may be of any further assistance, please contact us to schedule a consultation. in any of our clinics in Omaha, Council Bluffs or the surrounding communities.
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