“A yearly skin exam? Doesn’t that seem like a little much?” you (or likely, your husband) may protest. It’s not an uncommon reaction; too often people put off this visit hoping their skin issues will disappear on their own.

However, dermatologists highly recommend an annual visit for a number of reasons. Here’s why a yearly skin exam is so important and what you can expect during your visit.

Why Do I Need An Exam Every Year?

Visiting your dermatologist once a year may seem too frequent, but a yearly skin exam pays off in the long run. Why? Skin problems literally grow, and the earlier you catch the problem, the smaller it is.

Related: What to Look For: The ABCDE’s of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer, for example, can pop up in a matter of weeks. Diagnosing it early can make all the difference for an easy treatment vs. a big problem. After a summer of sun, places that look like skin cancer or that could develop into skin cancer may start to appear. If you catch them early, your doctor can examine the spots and put your mind at ease or deal with them as needed.

It’s easier to treat a small problem than a big problem. A yearly skin exam increases your chances of eliminating minor issues before they develop into serious problems. Usually, skin abnormalities don’t just go away, and the larger they gets, the more complications they cause. Before it starts affecting anything else, your doctor can either remove the spot or treat it appropriately.

What Should I Expect During the Exam?

Many people put off a doctor visit because they don’t know what to expect, but a dermatologist exam is a simple one. During your visit, the dermatologist will take a careful look at your scalp, face, and body. There’s no need to remove your undergarments as most damage occurs on places that are exposed to the sun. If you happen to have an area of concern that’s covered, just point that out to your doctor.

Related: 5 Questions Every Patient Should Ask Their Dermatologist

It’s completely normal to come to the doctor with a list of questions and concerns. In fact, most people bring a list of places they want the doctor to examine specifically. Although your doctor will most likely see these areas anyway, it never hurts to point out specific concerns.

If you’ve been putting off a yearly skin exam, stop making excuses. An annual visit takes minimal time and effort yet gives uncountable benefits. Save yourself from escalating problems and make your appointment today.

Need to schedule a yearly skin exam? You can contact us here.