I should schedule a full body what?

Debunking the stigma of a full body skin exam.

You know yearly skin exams are important, and we know you know yearly skin exams are important.  But we also know scheduling a full body skin exam for the first time can be a daunting experience. While for many of our patients scheduling their regular Full Body Skin Exam (FBSE / skin cancer screening) is a common occurrence, we have yet a large number who shy away from this life saving appointment just because of the name. We’re here to debunk the stigma that can attach itself to a full body skin exam and explain exactly what takes place during this type of appointment.

To clarify: You are not charged by body part for your office visit. A full body skin exam takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes start to finish from when your Dermatologist enters the exam room, which can be the same length of an office visit to have a lesion on your arm checked and ask two additional questions about skin care. It is a common misconception that a full body skin exam costs morethan having one or two moles checked. 

Tips for your appointment: Wear clothing that is easy to change in / out of, as you will be asked to remove outer layers of clothing, leaving undergarments on, and cover up with a provided medical gown. Have a written list of specific lesions your would like for your dermatologist to pay extra attention too during the exam. This will help to ensure you don’t forget any concerns you may have going in to your appointment. (This is also helpful to do with any additional questions you may have for your dermatologist.) If you keep track of your lesions, be sure to have any changes noted to point out to your dermatologist.

During the exam your dermatologist will check each area of your body one area at a time – i.e. your left arm, chest, right arm, back, continuing down to your legs – while you are wearing the medical gown. Here, he or she, may make verbal notations about any lesions noticed or ask questions regarding the history of lesions or other factors contributing to skin care or conditions. Other conditions can also be noted during this time such as acne, eczema, rosacea, or warts. You can expect up to 3 people (the average is 2 additional) in your procedure room during an exam – the dermatologist, medical assistant, and if needing a biopsy or simple procedure, our registered nurse may step in to help. Given our dermatologists are male, our female patients will always be accompanied by a female chaperone during their exams. Our goal is to make you as comfortable as possible during your exam in order to provide the best care possible.

At the end of your exam, your dermatologist willrecommend a follow up appointment such as a lesion removal (excision) or follow up full body skin exam of 3, 6, or 12 months. If you have a history of skin cancer or suspicious lesions, your dermatologist may prefer to keep you on a closer schedule to monitor any changes. Any product recommendations your dermatologist mentioned will be available when checking out with more information being provided if needed. If insured, your exam will be filed to your insurance with only your copay, depending on your individual plan, due at time of checkout. After that, your full body skin exam is complete and you are set to go until your next office visit.

Now that doesn’t sound too bad, does it? We sure hope not!

While yearly skin exams performed by a board-certified dermatologist are recommended, it is also important to conduct a self exam once a month. Use this time to track any and all changes in skin lesions – color, size, location – and make notes of these areas. Worried you won’t be able to remember all the information? Download this Body Map from the Skin Cancer Foundation to keep track.  File your monthly maps in a folder and use this information to let your dermatologist know of any changes. 

A full body skin exam is nothing to be worried about going into your appointment. For most patients, they find this type of exam to be more inclusive to cover all aspects of skin care as opposed to segmented topics. Remember, no one knows your body like you do. If you feel a lesion looks the slightest bit suspicious, don’t hesitate to consult a certified dermatologist for a second opinion. Their trained eyes may even find something you had overlooked in your self exams. At DLCC we are proud to have two very reputable and experienced dermatologists on staff. Both well versed in all skin conditions, encourage their patients to maintain regularly scheduled full body skin exams. It’s one type of exam that can save your life.

Comments are closed.

Contact Us

Office addresses:

2180 Henry Tecklenburg Dr.
Charleston, SC 29414

1364 Ashley River Road
Charleston, SC 29407

208 Brighton Park Blvd
Summerville, SC 29486

Phone: 843-556-8886
Fax: 843-556-8850

E-mail: Contact Form

Find Us

Click to open a larger map

New Treatments for Psoriasis

Follow Us