Full Body Skin Exams

Birmingham’s Top Full Body Exams Practice

Your dermatologist will check your whole body, from your scalp to your toes, for any abnormalities using a special polarized lighted magnifying glass called a dermatoscope to see any marks or suspicious skin lesions clearly. Both men and women can find experienced doctors at our practice to perform this exam for them.

  • A full-body skin exam is considered a skin cancer screening, as your doctor will look for any signs of melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, other types of skin cancer, and other skin conditions.
  • Moles, sunspots, and other blemishes are thoroughly examined for abnormalities.
  • Often a routine part of a check-up, this exam usually takes only 10-20 minutes depending on whether any biopsies need to be performed.

About Full Body Skin Exams

Some skin conditions, like acne, eczema, and psoriasis, are easy to notice and feel. Other skin problems are difficult to identify without a full-body exam. Your doctor will have you change into a gown and check your body all over, including your scalp and other hard-to-see areas like your back, genitals, ears, and between your toes, to ensure there are no abnormalities. Only a dermatologist is trained to look for these details and ensure your skin health. Regular check-ups like this one are a great way to catch any serious issues like skin cancer early when they are typically easier to treat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect from a full-body examination?

Your doctor will ask you to change into a medical gown. They may also ask you to wear your hair loose and remove any face makeup so they can check your scalp and face. The entire session lasts between 10 and 20 minutes, as your doctor examines the skin with a special polarized magnifying glass called a dermatoscope. If your doctor has any concerns, they will discuss them and the need for any further diagnostic steps such as a biopsy or prescription medication.

When should I get a full-body dermatological exam?

Most people need a full-body skin exam at some point in time. Typically, any patient with lighter skin and over 30 years of age should get at least one full-body skin exam every few years. If you have a lighter skin tone and a lot of sun exposure growing up, then getting a skin exam every 1-2 years after the age of 30 is a good idea. 

Patients with a personal or family history of skin cancer should get a skin exam annually after the age of 30 or at least ten years before the age of their relative when they had skin cancer. For example, if your mom had melanoma at 30 years old, start getting an annual skin exam at 20. Skin cancer is often much easier to treat when it is caught early, so do not wait if you have a reason for a skin exam or have a spot on your skin that you are concerned about. 

The signs that a skin spot needs to be examined include changing the size or color of moles and new symptoms such as bleeding or itching. If you are unsure whether a spot is changing, consider taking a picture of the spot today and then comparing it to another picture of the same spot in 3 months. Or better yet, come in and let one of our expert physicians and providers examine the spot!

Who needs regular full-body exams?

There are certain cases where you may want to consider coming in for regular check-ups, such as: 

1. Patients with skin cancer in the past, including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, mucinous carcinoma, adnexal carcinoma, or any other type of skin cancer.

2. Patients with a family history of skin cancer, especially melanoma.

3. Individuals on immune system suppressing medications such as prednisone, especially those that have had organ transplantation, including blood stem cell transplants.

4. People with lighter skin and a lot of childhood sun exposure. Pale skin, light hair, and light eyes are all associated with having an increased risk of developing skin cancer.

5. People that have had sunburns in the past, even distant past. Blistering sunburns are the worst; having a blistering sunburn doubles the lifetime risk of developing a melanoma.

6. People that worked outside or used tanning beds in the past.

7. People with a large number of moles, especially those with over 50 moles on their body.

If you are even the slightest bit concerned, simply make an appointment! Contact our office to make an appointment so that you can have peace of mind.

Make Your Appointment Today

Your skin’s health is vital. Our team of world-class doctors and surgeons are here for you, whether you need a full-body examination, biopsy, or skin cancer treatment, in a clean and caring environment. Call us today and schedule an appointment! We’re looking forward to seeing you.