What Happens During a Skin Cancer Screening?

Female doctor checking skin of girl with dermatoscope in a clinic

Getting regular skin cancer screenings is one of the simplest, quickest, and most effective ways to take control of your health. The board-certified dermatologists at Harris Dermatology have helped countless patients improve their outcomes with these routine appointments. While anything to do with cancer can feel daunting, screenings are nothing to fear.

Here’s what you need to know about the process.

What to Expect During Your Skin Cancer Screening

Before your skin cancer screening, you should note any unusual or itchy moles, new skin growths, or pigmentation changes to discuss with our providers. You should also remove nail polish and makeup that could mask signs of skin cancer.

During your skin cancer screening, you’ll be asked to wear a medical gown so your skin can be examined from head to toe. The examiners will carefully check less visible places like your scalp or the soles of your feet. They’ll note the size, location, and appearance of any moles, screening for the ABCDE (asymmetry, border, color, diameter, evolving) warning signs of melanoma.  Actinic keratosis, which can develop into squamous cell carcinoma, can also be diagnosed. In addition, they’ll be able to detect the lesser-known signs of skin cancer.

If you have any growths or lesions that are cause for concern, a skin biopsy will be recommended. Collecting a sample takes just minutes and can be done in-office under local anesthesia, often on the same day as your screening. 

How Often Should I Get a Skin Cancer Screening?

How regularly you should get skin cancer screenings depends on your unique health history. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends making an appointment at least once a year. However, the doctors at Harris Dermatology might recommend more frequent screenings if you have certain skin cancer risk factors. For example, if you have more than 50 moles, a history of melanoma, or any other health conditions that could raise your odds of developing skin cancer, we may recommend screenings every three to six months.

Schedule Your Fort Meyers or Naples Skin Cancer Screening

If you’re ready to make an incredible decision for your health, schedule your skin cancer screening with the experienced and welcoming providers at Harris Dermatology. Prevention and early detection are the best ways to ensure good outcomes. Call 239-936-3344 to reach our Fort Meyers, Florida, location or 239-596-1848 to book at our Naples, Florida, practice.


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