Skin Cancer Screenings and Total Body Skin Exams

A skin cancer screening, also known as a total body skin exam (TBSE), is a thorough visual examination of the skin conducted by your dermatology professional. The purpose of a TBSE is to identify any unusual moles, growths, or skin abnormalities that could be indicative of skin cancer. During the exam, your dermatology expert will thouroughly examine the entire body, including areas not typically exposed to the sun, as skin cancers can develop in various locations.

At Brentwood Dermatology, our team is trained to recognize and differentiate between benign moles, freckles, and other skin lesions from potentially harmful or cancerous ones. Identifying suspicious lesions early can prompt further evaluation or biopsy if necessary.

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 Brentwood Dermatology Can Help

At Brentwood Dermatology, we are committed to providing you with comprehensive dermatologic care. Our team is well-versed in assessing the skin, and looking out for skin cancers, irregularities, and conditions.

When it comes to skin cancer, early detection is key, which is why we encourage annual Total Body Skin Exams for all our patients. Start your journey to healthy skin and schedule your TBSE today!

FAQs: Total Body Skin Exam (TBSE)

This depends on your personal and family history of skin cancer and individual risk factors. We recommend annual TBSEs along with your at home self-examinations. If you're not sure where to start, set up a baseline examination with your dermatology provider where they will assess your skin and advise on the frequency of your TBSEs.

No, these exams are not painful. TBSEs are a visual inspection of your skin and does not include any invasive procedures like biopsies unless a suspicious lesion is identified and requires further evaluation.

When the TBSE is complete, your dermatology provider will inform you of their findings. If there are any areas of concern, they may recommend further evaluation through a biopsy or additional tests.

Yes - we recommend regular examinations on top of your annual TBSEs with a dermatology provider. Look for changes in moles, new growths, or any irregularities in your skin.

We encourage everyone to get a total body skin exam. Early detection is key when it comes to skin cancer. Anyone with a history of skin cancer, multiple moles, or a family history of skin cancer, fair skin, extensive sun exposure history, or a weakened immune system may be at a higher risk and be checked more frequently.

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 Explained

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.