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Should I still get a skin cancer examination in the winter?

During the winter, most of us want to hunker down and hibernate due to the cooler weather. We may wear longer sleeve and pants that cover our skin. While this can help us stay cozy during the drier, cooler months, it can also be a dangerous time to leave skin cancer unaddressed. Sun damage caused by the summer months can increase one’s risk of developing skin cancer, and with early detection, many patients can achieve healthier skin and avoid the later stages of cancer. At Keys Dermatology, our dermatological professionals strongly advise that patients schedule a skin cancer examination and screening as soon as possible if it has been over a year since their last appointment.

What should I look for?

Many patients can monitor changes to their skin at home to look for signs of cancer. Winter is a great time to actively check your skin and learn more about how to recognize the signs of melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. If you spot any areas of concern, it may be time to call your dermatologist.

Patients will want to look for:

  • Unusual skin tags or growths that were not present before
  • Changes to existing moles, including shape, size, and color
  • Wounds that will not scab and heal properly
  • Unusual changes to the skin, specifically in a targeted area
  • Notice of new skin lesions
  • Lesions or growths that bleed or itch and won’t resolve on their own

What can I expect during a skin cancer screening?

Patients should have annual skin cancer screenings, during which a dermatologist will evaluate the entire body head to toe to look for unusual changes. The current moles and skin growths on the skin are noted, and during the next appointment, they will be evaluated to determine if there is concern. Skin cancer screenings typically take less than an hour and can be a proactive approach towards healthier skin!

Schedule your skin cancer screening today!

At Keys Dermatology, our dermatologists encourage patients to routinely schedule skin cancer screenings at least once a year. This can help in diagnosing a condition early enough for effective treatment. With locations in Islamorada and Key West, we are conveniently located for new and current patients. Call (305) 664-8828 to book an appointment at any of our office locations for further assistance.

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