10 Minute Skin Exam Could Save Your Life

You heard us right.

Ten minutes of your time spent with a Lovelace Medical Group dermatologist can reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, the most common form of cancer.

“I recommend that all adults receive an annual full-body skin exam,” said Deeptej Singh, M.D., F.A.A.D., a board-certified dermatologist with Lovelace Medical Group. “Early detection makes everyone’s life easier. It leads to easier surgeries and higher cure rates.”

“I think the full-body skin exams give patients a sense of reassurance that their skin legions are being looked at not only clinically with visual inspection, but microscopically.”

During the examination, Dr. Singh uses a handheld device called a dermatoscope to carefully exam the skin from head-to-toe.

“The dermatoscope allows me to look at a lesion under magnification and with different forms of polarized and non-polarized light,” said Dr. Singh. During these examines, Dr. Singh and other dermatologists focus on spots, freckles moles and other lesions. The dermatoscope provides a more advanced look at what’s really going on in our skin, compared to the naked eye.

Full-body skin examinations are imperative because the dermatologist will look at every part of the body, not just the parts typically exposed to the sun.

“One of the biggest misconceptions about skin cancer is that it only occurs where your skin is exposed to the sun,” said Dr. Singh. “I have personally diagnosed skin cancers on every part of the body from the scalp to the bottom of the feet, and everywhere in between.”

“I take the time to check everyone’s scalp carefully. Moving hair out of the way takes up the most time during a full body exam,” laughed Dr. Singh.

It’s common for melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, to develop in unique areas.

“Melanoma can occur anywhere on the body,” said Dr. Singh. “It can develop on the scalp, eyes, feet and other places; that’s why these exams are so critical.” According to the Melanoma Research Alliance, 96,480 people in the United States are expected to be diagnosed with new melanomas in 2019.

Dr. Singh and his team take immediate action during the exam if something looks concerning.

“If there is anything suspicious, we can numb the skin and do a biopsy at that visit so the patient doesn’t need to come back. That way, he or she can leave knowing everything has been checked or evaluated.”

In addition to an annual full-body exam, Dr. Singh recommends that New Mexicans perform self-exams each month to look for new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous. “Get to know your skin,” explained Dr. Singh. “Our skin is a reflection of what is going on inside our bodies.” If anything looks suspicious, schedule an appointment with a LMG dermatologist.

Call 727.2727 to schedule your full-body skin exam today.