Skin Cancer Screenings

A skin cancer screening, also known as a total body skin exam (TBSE), is a thorough visual examination of the skin conducted by a healthcare professional, typically a dermatologist. The purpose of this screening is to identify any unusual moles, growths, or skin abnormalities that could be indicative of skin cancer. During the exam, the healthcare provider carefully examines the entire body, including areas not typically exposed to the sun, as skin cancers can develop in various locations.

Dermatologists are trained to recognize and differentiate between benign moles, freckles, and other skin lesions from potentially harmful or cancerous ones. Identifying suspicious lesions early can prompt further evaluation or biopsy if necessary.

Why Patients Need a Total Body Skin Exam

A thorough skin examination allows for the early detection of skin cancers such as melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Early detection often leads to more successful treatment outcomes.

TBSEs also provide an opportunity for healthcare providers to educate patients about skin cancer risk factors, sun protection measures, and self-examination techniques. Educating patients empowers them to take proactive steps in maintaining their skin health.

Benefits of a TBSE

Early detection is crucial for successful treatment of skin cancer, and regular screenings are recommended, especially for individuals with a history of sun exposure, a family history of skin cancer, or other risk factors. If any suspicious lesions are identified, further diagnostic tests or biopsies may be recommended for a more accurate diagnosis.

Regular skin cancer screenings are an important part of preventive healthcare, promoting early detection and timely intervention.

How Webster Dermatology Can Help

As one of the top medical skin treatment providers in the nation, there are many reasons to trust us to care for the health of your skin. This starts with our commitment to providing the latest proven, proactive, and comprehensive dermatologic care, including our Total Body Skin Exams.

In addition to offering care from the most qualified skin care professionals, our holistic approach to the treatment of the skin includes hair and nails, and you can count on us to take the time to examine you and provide a holistic approach to the health of your skin and your lifetime skin wellness journey.

FAQs: Total Body Skin Exam (TBSE)

The frequency of TBSEs varies based on individual risk factors, personal history, and family history of skin cancer. Generally, it's recommended to have a baseline examination and discuss follow-up intervals with your dermatologist.

No, a TBSE is a non-invasive and painless examination. It involves a visual inspection without any invasive procedures like biopsies unless a suspicious lesion is identified and requires further evaluation.

After the examination, your dermatologist may discuss their findings with you. If suspicious lesions are identified, they might recommend further evaluation through a biopsy or additional tests.

Yes, regular self-examinations of your skin are encouraged. Your dermatologist can teach you how to perform self-checks between professional examinations. Look for changes in moles, new growths, or any irregularities in your skin.

Anyone with a history of skin cancer, multiple moles, or a family history of skin cancer should consider regular TBSEs. Individuals with fair skin, extensive sun exposure history, or a weakened immune system may also benefit.

Sun protection is essential. Use sunscreen, wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses, and seek shade during peak sun hours to minimize sun damage and reduce the risk of skin cancer.

From our QualDerm Family of Brands: Total Body Skin Exams

What to Expect During Your Total Body Skin Exams

During a total body skin exam (TBSE), patients can expect a thorough examination of their skin by a dermatologist. 

You will be asked to stand or sit, and your dermatologist will systematically examine the entire body, including the scalp, face, neck, torso, arms, hands, legs, feet, and even between the toes and the soles of the feet.

Your provider will closely examine moles, freckles, birthmarks, and any other skin abnormalities. They will assess the size, shape, color, and borders of each lesion. If any suspicious lesions are identified, they will discuss their findings with you and may recommend further diagnostic tests or a biopsy for a more accurate diagnosis.

Depending on the findings, your dermatologist may recommend scheduling for follow-up screenings or additional appointments for monitoring or treatment.

Remember, a TBSE is a proactive measure for early detection of skin cancer, and patients are encouraged to communicate openly with their healthcare provider about any concerns or questions they may have during the examination.

How to Prepare for a TBSE

To prepare for your total body skin exam (TBSE), schedule a convenient appointment time, arrive on time, and wear easily removable clothing for a comprehensive examination.

Before the appointment, take note of specific moles or skin concerns, and consider going makeup-free if you have concerns about your face. Arrange your hair for scalp examination and remove nail polish if necessary. Share your medical history, including any family history of skin cancer, and bring a list of current medications.

Feel free to ask questions to ensure a clear understanding of the TBSE process. Remember, this routine procedure is designed for early detection of skin cancer, and your dermatologist is there to address your concerns and support your skin health.

Is Recovery Needed for a TBSE?

No, there is typically no recovery needed for a total body skin exam (TBSE). A TBSE is a non-invasive dermatological exam. Since it does not involve any surgical procedures or interventions, patients can resume their normal activities immediately after the examination.

After a TBSE, individuals may choose to keep an eye on any areas of concern identified by the dermatologist and follow any recommendations for self-monitoring.

It's essential to maintain good skin health practices, such as regular use of sunscreen, protection from excessive sun exposure, and self-examination of the skin for any changes between medical appointments.