Skin Cancer Screening

Skin cancer screening is a visual exam of the skin to check for signs of skin cancer. Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms and it can help find cancer at an early, treatable stage of disease.

What To Expect for Your Full Body Skin Exam

For your full-body skin exam, you will need to dress down and wear an exam gown. You may leave your undergarments on for the exam.

Dr. Warmuth uses a dermatoscope to examine your skin from head to toe, including your scalp, fingers, toes, and fingernail and toenail beds. She will check the skin for moles, birthmarks, or other pigmented areas that look abnormal in size, color, shape, or texture. A dermatoscope helps to give a magnified, detailed view of any skin spots or moles.

Photographs

If you have a skin growth that Dr. Warmuth wants to watch over time, she will take a photograph of it at your first visit. At subsequent visits, she will compare it to look for any changes.

Skin Biopsy

If you have any suspicious-looking spots on your skin, Dr. Warmuth will do a skin biopsy to remove as much of the tissue as possible with a local incision. The specimen will be sent to the lab for a pathologist to look at under a microscope to check for cancer cells.

Note that a skin biopsy may cause scarring.

Biopsy Results

If you had a skin biopsy done, we will notify you of the results as soon as we get the report back from the lab. If your results are negative for skin cancer (benign skin cells), you’ll be scheduled for your next, annual skin cancer screening.

If your results are positive for skin cancer (malignant skin cells), you’ll be scheduled for a follow-up visit to discuss your biopsy results (type of skin cancer) and treatment options.

Skin Cancer Screening at Warmuth Institute of Dermatology

If you are interested in skin cancer screening, call Warmuth Institute of Dermatology at (856) 358-1500 to schedule an appointment.

Skin Cancer Screening FAQs

When should you start screening for skin cancer?

You should start screening for skin cancer in your 20s or 30s, or perhaps sooner if you are in the sun a lot, have a family history of skin cancer, or have moles.

How long does a skin cancer screening exam take?

A full-body skin exam usually takes 10-15 minutes. However, if a skin biopsy is needed, allow for additional time for numbing the area and taking a skin sample.

How often should you get a full-body skin exam?

You should get a full-body skin exam once a year, especially if you have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Blonde or red hair
  • Light eye color
  • Skin that freckles or sunburns easily
  • Family history of melanoma
  • Personal history of sunburns
  • History of unusual moles
  • Tanning bed use
  • More than 50 moles
  • A suspicious-looking mole

How should you prepare for a skin cancer screening?

For your skin cancer screening, do not wear any make-up or nail polish, and wear your hair loose, so your provider can examine your scalp.
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