Q. What to expect at my annual skin exam?
A. Although a full skin exam may sound daunting for some, it is actually very simple. Typically we will have patients change into our stylish gowns to allow for a thorough exam. I like to ask my patients if they have any specific areas of concern. Don’t be shy! If there is something that is bothersome, please do not hesitate to bring it to the physician’s attention.
The exam entails looking from head-to-toe to make sure there are no concerning moles or abnormal growths. I will oftentimes use a dermatoscope—a magnifier with a light source, which is a tool used in dermatology to help identify different skin structures and can aide in identifying abnormal spots.
Q. I was told that one of my moles was irregular, what next?
A. In the event that an abnormal mole may be found during your full skin exam, don’t panic! There are several ways to manage an abnormal mole. The most common method and standard of care would be to take a small sample of the abnormal mole and have it evaluated under the microscope. This is often the best way to get a definitive answer and guide the most appropriate treatment options.