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    Skin Self-Examination

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    A skin self-exam is used to identify suspicious growths that may be cancer or growths that may develop into skin cancer (precancers). Adults should examine their skin once every month. Look for any abnormal skin growth or any change in the color, shape, size, or appearance of a skin growth. Check for any area of injured skin (lesion) that does not heal.

    To perform a skin self-exam:

    • Stand in front of a full-length mirror. Examine your body front and back, then examine your right and left sides with your arms raised.
    • Bend your elbows and look carefully at your forearms, the back of your upper arms, and your palms.
    • Look at your feet, the soles of your feet, and the spaces between your toes.
    • Using a hand mirror, look at:
      • The back of your legs.
      • The back of your neck.
      • Your scalp. Part your hair several times, in different places, to look at your entire scalp.
      • Your back, buttocks, and genital area.

    If you see a suspicious skin growth during your self-exam, contact your doctor.

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
    Specialist Medical ReviewerAmy McMichael, MD - Dermatology

    Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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