Of all the services offered at Vanguard Skin Specialists, none may be as vitally important to our patients’ health as annual full-body skin exams. Due to our elevation and bright, sunny days, Coloradans have an increased risk of developing skin cancer in their lifetime. Fortunately, most skin cancers are treatable and curable if detected early.
Where Do Skin Cancers Form?
Although some parts of our bodies such as our faces, chests, hands, and necks are more susceptible to sun burns and signs of photoaging, it is a common misconception that skin cancer only forms on areas of the body that experience high rates of sun exposure. In fact, skin cancer can form on any and all surfaces of the skin, including areas that experience very little to no direct UV exposure, including the scalp, in between the toes, and the underside of the feet.
For this reason, it is extremely important that everyone—especially those of us who are at higher risk due to our closer proximity to the sun or family histories—schedule a yearly total-body skin cancer screening exam.
What Our Dermatologists Look For During a Skin Cancer Exam
Areas of discoloration on the skin such as moles and freckles are extremely common and, most often, entirely harmless. However, moles that may not be suspicious to the untrained eye can prove life-threatening. Our dermatology team is highly trained to detect abnormalities in the skin that can prove troublesome.
Some of the telltale signs of skin cancer lesions are abnormal borders, pain or itching, unusual discoloration, and moles that change shape and size over time. However, it isn’t always clear with the naked eye whether a mole is potentially harmful or not, which is why your dermatologist may use a dermatoscope. It is also why we may need to do a biopsy where we take a small sample of skin to test it further. Vanguard has an on-site lab and dermatopathologist so that we can provide prompt diagnosis of skin cancer.
We Prioritize the Safety and Comfort of Our Dermatology Patients
The Vanguard team is comprised of skin experts from various walks of life, backgrounds, and personal medical histories. We understand that every patient is unique, with his or her own needs and requirements. Understandably, the prospect of a full-body skin exam can seem intimidating to many people. Which is why every member of the Vanguard team treats everyone who walks through our doors like extended members of their family.
In fact, not only do our dermatologists build and foster trusting relationships with their patients, our surgical team members give each one of their patients their personal phone numbers so that they can feel free to call anytime to ask questions and get personal updates.
Schedule Your Full-body Skin Exam Today with a Dermatologist or Dermatology Advanced Practice Practitioner
There’s a Chinese proverb that states, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.” If you have never gotten a skin cancer screening or have been putting it off for any reason, we invite you to call us today at (719) 355-1585, request an appointment online, or simply stop into any of our nine locations throughout Colorado.