Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

Why Annual Skin Checks Are Important

Summer is your time to bask in the sun, especially since you may not get a lot of vitamin D during the winter between working and shorter daylight hours. 

While sunshine has its benefits, too much of a good thing can harm you, and that adage is true when it comes to the sun’s rays. 

Those rays don’t just cause skin damage; they can also lead to precancerous skin cells on exposed areas of your skin. The fall is a perfect time to schedule an annual skin checkup with a qualified dermatologist. 

Our three board-certified dermatologists at Seacoast Dermatology provide a full complement of medical and surgical dermatology services. They can help prevent serious cases of skin cancer by catching and treating precancerous cells in the early stages. 

Here are the key reasons why annual skin evaluations are important. 

Skin cancer can be deadly 

The most frequent type of cancer diagnosed in the United States is skin cancer. Physicians treat more than 3 million new cases of skin cancer every year in the country. 

The number of people diagnosed with skin cancer is rising. Young women under the age of 40 have double the rate of skin cancer than that of young women three decades ago. The leading cause of cancer death in women ages 25-29 is melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

Most skin cancer cases are associated with exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. At Seacoast Dermatology, we can spot precancerous areas early so that they don’t develop into more serious forms of skin cancer. 

Skin cancer can develop from moles and rough patches of skin

You may think of your moles as beauty marks, but if you have a lot of moles, you’re at higher risk of developing skin cancer. People who have many moles or abnormal moles that are not symmetrical or contain more than one color are at increased risk of melanoma. 

We conduct a thorough exam and know what to look for when checking your moles and skin. 

Have you developed a rough patch of skin that may be scaly? It may be an actinic keratosis, which is a precancerous growth that we can remove during your annual exam before it turns into basal or squamous skin cancer. 

Skin cancer can develop where you can’t check easily

You look at your face and hands and parts of your arms and legs every day. But you can’t easily check other areas of your body to see if anything looks different. 

If you have a thick head of hair, it’s hard to check your scalp, especially the back of your head. If you’re a man or woman with long hair, the area behind your ears is another place skin cancer can occur. 

You may think that areas that aren’t usually exposed to the sun get a pass, but that’s not true. The area under your toenails and fingernails, between your toes, on the soles of your feet, on the skin under your pubic hairs, and on your palms can also develop skin cancer. 

The singer Bob Marley died of an unusual type of melanoma that started on his toe. 

At your annual checkup, we can put your mind at ease when you leave with a clean bill of health. If we discover something suspicious, we can remove it before it’s a serious matter.  

UV sun damage builds up over your lifetime

When you were younger, you might not have been careful to use sunblock. As a result, you likely suffered some sunburns. Those early sunburns increase your risk of skin cancer as an adult, as does having fair skin. 

UV damage from the sun is cumulative. Your body can’t repair all of the skin cell damage from too much sun exposure. Over time, cells can mutate and start to multiply too rapidly, leading to a malignancy. 

Living in mountainous New England, you may be a skier. Skiing on sunny days with only a vest or a sweater can be a delight, but prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays over time causes not only premature aging, including wrinkled, leathery skin, but also skin cancer. 

The snow can reflect almost all radiation from the sun, so you’re getting a double dose of the rays, both from the sun and from the snow. 

Call us at Seacoast Dermatology or book an appointment through our online portal to schedule your annual skin evaluation today. We’re located in Portsmouth, Exeter, and Dover, New Hampshire.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Fillers vs. Botox: Which Is Best For You?

You’re looking for a nonsurgical answer to give your face a more youthful appearance. Would Botox® solve your facial flaws? How about fillers? Learn more about the differences in these treatments and how each could potentially work for you.

5 Foods That Promote Feminine Health

As a woman, you have unique health needs. The food you eat plays a part in your overall health as well as the health of your skin. Here’s what you need to know about foods that promote feminine health.

5 Tips to Protect Your Skin From Sun This Year

Summer’s here and you’re outdoors a lot. Are you taking the necessary steps to protect your skin when you’re in the sun? Just following a few simple reminders can protect you against skin cancer.

Signs You Should Ask Your Doctor About a Rash

You notice you’ve been scratching your hands repeatedly over the past week or two because they itch. Your skin is developing a rash; it’s red, scaly, and irritated, and you can’t stop yourself from scratching. It’s time to see the doctor.

Why Your Skin Has so Many Discolorations as You Age

Do you have tan, brown, or grayish spots on your skin that you wish would go away? Many of them are likely the result of aging. Modern dermatology techniques can help eliminate these age spots and other skin discolorations.

Understanding the ABCDE Rule for Suspicious Lesions

Skin cancer is on the rise globally. Learn how you can identify problem spots on your skin that need a doctor’s visit. It’s easy for your dermatologist to eliminate precancerous lesions before they become cancerous.