Skin Cancer Screenings & Total Body Skin Exams

A skin cancer screening, also known as a Total Body Skin Exam (TBSE), is a comprehensive visual assessment of your skin, including areas not typically exposed to the sun, to check for signs of skin cancer or other skin conditions.

During the exam, you will be asked to remove your clothing and wear a gown. The dermatologist will systematically examine your skin, noting any moles, lesions, or other abnormalities. If any suspicious areas are found, further evaluation or biopsy may be recommended. 

Why Patients Need a Total Body Skin Exam

A thorough skin examination allows for the early detection of skin cancers such as melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Early detection often leads to more successful treatment outcomes.

TBSEs also provide an opportunity for healthcare providers to educate patients about skin cancer risk factors, sun protection measures, and self-examination techniques. Educating patients empowers them to take proactive steps in maintaining their skin health.

Benefits of a TBSE

Early detection is crucial for successful treatment of skin cancer, and regular screenings are recommended, especially for individuals with a history of sun exposure, a family history of skin cancer, or other risk factors. If any suspicious lesions are identified, further diagnostic tests or biopsies may be recommended for a more accurate diagnosis.

Regular skin cancer screenings are an important part of preventive healthcare, promoting early detection and timely intervention.

How The Dermatology & Skin Cancer Surgery Center at Creedmoor Can Help

The Dermatology & Skin Cancer Surgery Center at Creedmoor, we perform Total Body Skin Exams (TBSEs) every day. They are a crucial part of how we find potential skin cancer lesions, and keep our patients safe. If you’re interested in learning more about skin cancer, including the most common types, its warning signs and symptoms, and how we treat skin cancer here in Raleigh, NC, schedule a Total Body Skin Exam with one of our skin experts today!

FAQs: Total Body Skin Exam (TBSE)

On average, we recommend annual TBSEs. Based on your individual risk factors, personal history, and family history of skin cancer, your dermatologist may request more frequent visits.

Total Body Skin Exams are neither invasive or painful. It involves a visual inspection without any invasive procedures like biopsies unless a suspicious lesion is identified and requires further evaluation.

Your dermatologist will discuss the evaluation with you once complete. Further exams, a biopsy, or additional testing may be needed if suspicious lesions are found.

Yes, regular self-examinations of your skin are encouraged. Your dermatologist can teach you how to perform self-checks between professional examinations. Look for changes in moles, new growths, or any irregularities in your skin.

We recommend a TBSE to everyone. Specifically to those with a history of skin cancer, multiple moles, or a family history of skin cancer. Individuals with fair skin, extensive sun exposure history, or a weakened immune system may also benefit.

Sun protection is essential. Use sunscreen, wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses, and seek shade during peak sun hours to minimize sun damage and reduce the risk of skin cancer.

From Our QualDerm Family of Brands: Total Body Skin Exams

What to Expect During Your Total Body Skin Exams

During a total body skin exam (TBSE), patients can expect a thorough examination of their skin by a dermatologist. 

You will be asked to stand or sit, and your dermatologist will systematically examine the entire body, including the scalp, face, neck, torso, arms, hands, legs, feet, and even between the toes and the soles of the feet.

Your provider will closely examine moles, freckles, birthmarks, and any other skin abnormalities. They will assess the size, shape, color, and borders of each lesion. If any suspicious lesions are identified, they will discuss their findings with you and may recommend further diagnostic tests or a biopsy for a more accurate diagnosis.

Depending on the findings, your dermatologist may recommend scheduling for follow-up screenings or additional appointments for monitoring or treatment.

Remember, a TBSE is a proactive measure for early detection of skin cancer, and patients are encouraged to communicate openly with their healthcare provider about any concerns or questions they may have during the examination.

How to Prepare for a TBSE

To prepare for your total body skin exam (TBSE), schedule a convenient appointment time, arrive on time, and wear easily removable clothing for a comprehensive examination.

Before the appointment, take note of specific moles or skin concerns, and consider going makeup-free if you have concerns about your face. Arrange your hair for scalp examination and remove nail polish if necessary. Share your medical history, including any family history of skin cancer, and bring a list of current medications.

Feel free to ask questions to ensure a clear understanding of the TBSE process. Remember, this routine procedure is designed for early detection of skin cancer, and your dermatologist is there to address your concerns and support your skin health.

Is Recovery Needed for a TBSE?

No, there is typically no recovery needed for a total body skin exam (TBSE). A TBSE is a non-invasive dermatological exam. Since it does not involve any surgical procedures or interventions, patients can resume their normal activities immediately after the examination.

After a TBSE, individuals may choose to keep an eye on any areas of concern identified by the dermatologist and follow any recommendations for self-monitoring.

It's essential to maintain good skin health practices, such as regular use of sunscreen, protection from excessive sun exposure, and self-examination of the skin for any changes between medical appointments.