The Other Doctor Said It Was Fine

Posted on: 24 May 2019

The prospect of finding out you might have skin cancer can leave many people not thrilled about visiting a dermatologist. It's important to undergo an occasional skin cancer screening, even if you've had a spot looked at by your doctor. You wouldn't be the first person who ever was shocked to tell a dermatologist that your GP said everything looked fine. Here are 5 reasons you should have a long talk with a professional who knows about dermatology.

It Has Been a While

This may seem intuitive, but people tend to not worry about trouble until they know there's trouble. When it comes to diagnosing skin cancer, sooner is always better. Even if you're not seeing anything that bothers you, take the time schedule a screen every year. This is the case especially if you come from an ethnic group that has a predisposition to skin damage, such as folks with blond or red hair or those who easily freckle or burn.

You Have a Family History

If anyone in your family has had a history of melanoma, an annual screening is a must. Those who have unusual moles, or remember family members having them, should also consult with a dermatologist or a professional place like Belle Meade Dermatologies TN regularly.

Lifestyle and Job Factors

Many lifestyle choices correlate with increased risks of melanoma. Individuals who sunbathe a lot or use tanning beds, unsurprisingly, face these risks. Do not assume that being a fanatic applier of sunscreen is a simple fix. If you have a tanning lifestyle, you need to make annual visits to a dermatologist.

Occupations also carry sun exposure risks. For example, truck drivers often end up leaving their arms and faces near windows where decades of sun exposure can occur. If your work takes you outdoors or leaves you in regular proximity to a window, you should get a yearly checkup.

Medical Risk Factors

The number of moles on your body is considered a good sign of cancer risk. If you have 50 or more total, that's a concern. Same goes if even one looks large or irregular. Anyone who has had an organ transplant may be at heightened risk, too.

When the Dermatologist Says So

You might drop by the doctor's office to have them tell you what's going on with your acne only to be told to put on a gown. Folks don't regularly make visits, and consequently, dermatologists do screenings whenever they get the chance.