Inexcusable Excuses for Delaying a Skin Check
Posted: July 15th, 2020
Early detection and treatment will have the best outcome in any skin cancer. If you have noticed anything new, changing or unusual on your skin, it is not a good idea to delay a skin exam with your dermatologist. And if you feel that something is just not right, trust your instincts and make an appointment today. The following are common excuses for delaying a skin exam.
- I don’t know what to expect. Being nervous about a medical exam that you’ve never had before is normal. Dermatologists are trained to do skin exams that are quick, noninvasive, and routinely done. When you are examined, you will be covered by a gown or drape, which the doctor can fold back to check different areas of your skin. Your dermatologist may choose to use a small handheld microscope called a dermatoscope to examine more closely a suspicious lesion or mole.
- I feel uncomfortable being exposed and alone in a room with a doctor I don’t know. If your preference is a same-sex doctor or provider, you may request one. When body checks are conducted there is usually an assistant in the exam room, and if not, you can immediately ask for one.
- I don’t have the time. Having good health is vital, and if you do not take care of your health, you won’t be able to help others. We tell patients, especially those who tend to forget their appointments, to have your birthday suit examined on your birthday each year.
- I can’t afford it. If you have health insurance, choose a provider in your plan or network for a more affordable cost. If you do not have insurance, there are payment options available. Early screenings can help you avoid more costly treatments in the future.
- I’d rather not know if I have something wrong. Medical problems do not develop only during a visit to the doctor. It’s best to catch something early, while it is treatable. Find a dermatologist you can trust, who gets to know you and your skin. This will make your regular skin exams easier over time.
- I’m frightened of needles if I have to have a biopsy. Let your dermatologist know this fear. Sometimes they can use numbing cream or spray, or other techniques to lessen the stick of the needle.
- I do not want a scar. Today, in the field of dermatology, we have advanced treatments which usually leave no or little scarring. If something needs to be removed, it’s best to remove it early to minimize the scar.
- I am experiencing other health problems at this time. Since your skin is the largest organ of your body, you really need to take care of it. Even if you have other health issues, it’s is best to have a full skin exam at least once a year.
Skin Cancer Foundation: Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD