Some people understandably worry about a personal medical examination like a skin check. However, inspecting your skin should not be a cause for alarm or distress. It is something that millions of people have conducted around the world each year. In Australia, where the sun is often very strong indeed, skin checks are very commonplace and are one of the principal ways that doctors have for spotting the early signs of cancer. As such, a skin check should be seen as routine and not necessarily something to worry about. When you turn up to your appointment to have your skin inspected, what should you expect to happen?
Who Conducts Skin Examinations?
Firstly, it is important to say that only properly qualified medical professionals should conduct a close examination of your skin. This usually means a doctor, but other professionals in the healthcare profession with specialist training may also conduct this sort of work. Before the examination starts, the professional concerned will usually ask you a few questions about your general health. This is part of the diagnosis process and is not unusual. In particular, your doctor will ask you about moles and other skin blemishes. After all, you know your own body better than anyone else, so this is helpful.
What Happens Next?
You will need to disrobe for a skin check to be conducted. Of course, your exposed skin can be looked at without the need to undress, but this is not the case for the rest of your body which is why you will have to take your most of your clothes off. It is normal for you to be able to keep your underwear on, however. Only if you have a blemish in a particularly private area will you need to also take your underwear off.
How Is a Skin Check Conducted?
Your doctor will need to make use of his or her eyes up close to look at any marks that require special attention. A dermatoscope will be used which allows the doctor to see what they need to under magnification. These often come with a light that helps to make the inspection more effective, too. In order to get a better view, your doctor may have to pull your skin taught, especially if you have folds in your dermis. Don't be surprised, therefore, if your doctor touches you as the check-up progresses. If your doctor thinks that a particular area of skin needs to be monitored, then a photo of it will be taken to refer to later. This will be a close up of the spot, not a snap of your entire body.