25 Aug Why Don’t We Schedule Skin Checks As Often As Dentist Appointments?
When it comes to yearly exams, a lot of people are more diligent about seeing their primary care physician and dentist compared to seeing their dermatologist. Spectrum Dermatology regularly sees patients who want to treat acne or undergo an aesthetic treatment, but not nearly as many sticks to their annual skin exam. There are a few types of skin cancers (melanoma being the deadliest), and when you take into consideration all types of skin cancer, it is a relatively common ailment. So, why aren’t we very good about seeing our dermatologist for our fast, easy, yearly check?
We don’t think skin cancer will happen to us. There are about four million cases of basal cell carcinoma in the U.S. each year—and that’s just one type of skin cancer! For some reason, most people will agree that they need a tooth cleaning to avoid getting a cavity but aren’t nearly as preoccupied about being diagnosed with skin cancer.
Skin cancer isn’t always “obvious”
Skin cancer usually doesn’t hurt. Unlike a cavity, skin cancer doesn’t send pain signals (although it might in very advanced stages). Pain is one of our body’s most obvious ways of saying something’s wrong and encouraging us to see a doctor. Without it, it’s pretty easy to ignore statistics.
Even if you know the ABCDs of skin cancer (asymmetry, border, color, diagram), you can only see about 70 percent of your skin. Plus, we see most of our moles every day. It’s tough for us to tell if one has changed or if one is abnormal. Self-checks are important, but nothing compares to a dermatologist’s exam. A lot of people don’t see a doctor about a strange mole until it’s morphed into something that looks seriously wrong.
Ignorance is bliss (for a while). Ignoring something, like an annual exam, doesn’t do you any favors. However, humans are experts when it comes to avoiding difficult situations. It’s not an effective strategy, but it’s a popular one.
Schedule your yearly skin exam with Spectrum Dermatology today
The reality is that everyone should stick to a yearly skin exam even if you don’t have moles or a family history of skin cancer. The exams are very quick, non-invasive, and potentially life-saving. Plus, these checks can catch a lot more than cancer—rosacea, psoriasis, and adult acne can all be treated. Schedule your yearly check now by calling 480-948-8400.