Annual Skin Exam: Do You Really Need One?
At Florida Academic Dermatology Center in Coral Gables, we understand that it can be challenging to find time for annual check-ups amidst busy schedules. However, just like physicals, eye exams, and dental check-ups, skin cancer screenings and annual skin exams are essential components of preventive care that keep you healthy and strong.
As dermatology experts, we urge our patients to stay informed and proactive about protecting their skin's health. Led by Dr. Francisco Kerdel and Dr. Frank Don, experienced dermatologists with over 50 years of combined experience, our team at Florida Academic Dermatology Center emphasizes the importance of regular skin cancer screenings and annual skin exams as part of your healthcare routine.
Here are five reasons why you should never skip your annual skin exam:
Early Skin Cancer Detection Can Save Lives
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and Florida ranks fourth in the country for new skin cancer diagnoses in 2022. Early detection of common skin cancer types like Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma significantly improves survival rates, with a 99.9 percent 5-year survival rate when detected early and treated before it spreads.
Your Skin's Health Can Indicate Underlying Health Issues
Most people know your skin is your body’s first line of defense against injury, infection, and illness. With an annual skin exam, your dermatology provider may be able to spot subtle changes in the skin that can be an early sign of other underlying health conditions.
Chronic health conditions like Lupus, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and even diabetes can manifest in the skin before there are other signs of a problem. As skin health experts, seeing your dermatologist for an annual skin exam could help identify these early symptoms to help get you the care you need.
Aging Skin Requires Extra Care
As skin ages, it becomes more susceptible to environmental damage from UV rays, potentially leading to skin cancer and visible signs of aging. Older adults, especially those over 80, are at an increased risk of developing skin cancer and require more frequent follow-ups to monitor for recurrence and ensure effective treatment.
Myths About Skin Health Can Be Dangerous
Believing common skin health myths can leave people vulnerable to skin cancer, particularly young people and people of color. Skin cancer can manifest differently in people with deeper skin tones, leading to later diagnosis and more treatment challenges. Additionally, younger patients who ignore early signs and symptoms are more likely to face treatment challenges later on.
Peace of Mind is Priceless
Preventive care, like an annual skin exam, provides peace of mind regarding your health and well-being. Knowing your skin health status and having a treatment plan in place, even if you're not experiencing any specific symptoms, is particularly important for families with a history of skin cancer or other skin conditions requiring specialty care.
At Florida Academic Dermatology Center, we are committed to providing personalized care that focuses on your specific concerns. Our patient-focused approach to medicine ensures that we develop a personalized care regimen that gives you relief, comfort, and peace of mind. Schedule your annual skin exam with us today to help safeguard your health and future.