I Turn 65 This Year. How Often Should I Get a Skin Exam?
Turning 65 is a milestone that's worthy of celebration. It also comes with a few important considerations, some of which tie in with your health. By now, you already know that you have to be proactive about a lot of things, and hopefully, you have already had a skin exam in the past. However, now that you're 65, do the rules change?
At Keys Dermatology, we still recommend an annual skin exam, but there are situations where that might change.
What's in a Skin Exam?
An average skin exam typically only takes about 10 minutes, but that time will rise depending on any skin conditions you may have. If you have had atypical moles or skin cancer in the past, a more comprehensive and lengthy exam may be required.
In general, a skin exam allows us to look at the condition of your skin from head to toe. At Keys Dermatology, our board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Stefanie Altmann, will especially scrutinize places you cannot self-examine, like your scalp or behind your ears, and use professional magnifying tools as necessary.
If Dr. Altmann finds anything that requires greater evaluation, she might perform a biopsy. This is where a tiny sample of skin from your body is carefully removed with the assistance of pain management techniques to ensure comfort. That sample is then rigorously tested to screen for cancer.
Overall, these exams help detect problems early, improving health outcomes and promoting peace of mind.
Adjusting Skin Exam Frequency in Older and Higher-Risk Individuals
Typically, skin exams are performed once a year. However, Dr. Altmann may suggest more frequent exams if she observes certain risk factors that include the following:
- An increase in atypical moles
- Previous instances of cancer
- A family history of skin cancer
- Exposure to carcinogens
- A high UV exposure lifestyle
Still, it's uncommon to have a skin exam more than once every few months unless you are actively undergoing a course of treatment for a specific skin condition or disease.
Schedule a Skin Exam in Islamorada and Key West, FL
Whether you're in Islamorada or Key West, Florida, you'll feel at home at Keys Dermatology. For more than 25 years, we've been helping the people of the Sunshine State maintain healthy, beautiful skin.
If you're due for a skin exam, there's no better time than now to make an appointment. Call Keys Dermatology today at 305-664-8828.