Every winter, as women around the country put away their sunscreen, bikinis, and razors, they forget to check their bodies for the damage the summer sun may have caused. I have extremely busy skin, spattered with freckles of all shapes, sizes, and colors, so I should probably visit a dermatologist for a skin cancer screening once a year. Sadly, up until last month, I had only been once.
The last time I had a skin cancer screening I was 23 years old, about to get married in Florida, and planning for a trip to Hawaii. I thought it would be a good idea to have my freckles checked before I hopped in a tanning bed to bronze myself before the big day. After a quick look at my skin, the dermatologist removed a small suspicious spot from my inner calf – a common area of a woman’s body for cancerous moles – but it was thankfully nothing to worry about. She didn’t tell me to avoid the tanning bed, but said to come back next year.
Since then, I’ve had quite a few freckles and strange spots appear. Pregnancy can do a number on a woman’s body, so there have been moles popping up in random places all over my body for the last four years. I’ve been lazy and quite frankly, too frightened to have them checked – especially a large spot on my chest. However, I know the best way to detect skin cancer early is to be aware of how your skin changes by giving self-exams and to visit a dermatologist. (source)
My friend is an APRN at Middlesex Dermatology, so I put on my big girl pants to have her check me out. You can watch the entire process – from the anxious car ride there to the full body screening – and listen to what she has to say about the importance of having your skin checked at least once a year. One big takeaway – wear a moisturizer with an SPF on your face EVERY DAY… not just in the summer. The sun is shining year round, so protect your precious self.