Dermatological exams are fairly straightforward – yet children’s skin is a bit different than adult skin, so a dermatologist who is specially trained in both general dermatology and pediatric dermatology is ideal for taking care of the whole family. And having regular dermatology checkups is particularly important if you have skin cancer or melanoma in your immediate family.
The skilled dermatologists at Children’s Skin Center are board-certified, and our physician’s assistants are also trained in adult and pediatric dermatology.
Preventing and detecting skin cancer early is one of the primary roles of a dermatologist. However, dermatologists treat more than 3,000 skin conditions. They treat conditions that are related to nails, hair, and mucous membranes (mouth, nose, eyelids, etc.), as well as sunburn and burns from an accident or fire.
Regular dermatology appointments are designed to help prevent anything on the skin from becoming an infection or cancerous. Below are some of the things that may occur during your first visit to the dermatologist.
General Health Questions
Before your dermatological exam begins, you will be asked a series of questions regarding your complete health history. Questions that might be asked include:
- Are you currently taking any medications, either over-the-counter or prescribed by a doctor?
- What is your history of sun exposure?
- Do you use tanning beds?
- How does your skin react to the sun’s rays?
- Have you had skin problems in the past?
- Do you have specific concerns?
- Do you have a family history of skin conditions, including skin cancer, etc.?
The questions are designed to assist the doctor in understanding your total health profile. That way, an accurate diagnosis can be made (if necessary) and the proper treatment applied to your condition.
On your first visit to the dermatologist, you will receive a thorough examination that encompasses a complete visual scan of your body. It may seem a bit overwhelming or embarrassing at first, but remember that this is what they do all day, every day!
The dermatologist will examine every inch of your frame, including the bottom of your feet, and areas that aren’t exposed to the sun, including private areas. This is to rule out skin cancer that can appear anywhere on the body, including the mouth, hair, and nails, which will also be examined.
If an abnormality is found, you could prevent skin cancer. Early detection is crucial in receiving proper treatment and most likely a complete cure of skin cancer. Most moles are fine, but some moles may be pre-cancerous; your dermatologist may tell you that you should have one or more moles removed as a preventive measure.
The dermatologist may also “freeze off” any superficial issues they see on your skin, such as spots, lesions, or anything that may benefit from being frozen off with a quick puff of liquid nitrogen. This is a simple and noninvasive technique that helps to prevent questionable spots from becoming cancerous.
As a patient, you are your own first line of defense against skin cancer and other disorders.
Most patients make their first dermatological appointment after they’ve noticed an abnormality that has appeared. Perhaps a freckle seems to have taken on a different shape expanding on the skin, or the patient notices a sudden change in the color and size of a mole. Or perhaps there’s a cyst, a lump, or acne that needs to be addressed.
It is extremely important to mention these changes and any abnormalities that you’ve noticed to the doctor. Write them down beforehand, so you won’t forget anything at the time of the visit.
You can also take notes or use your phone to record the doctor’s comments so you won’t forget anything after the appointment. However, if you plan on recording them, tell your doctor beforehand so they will know what you’re doing.
Family Dermatology in Miami
At the Children’s Skin Center Pediatric and Adult Dermatology, our skilled dermatologists can diagnose and treat both childhood and adult skin conditions. A child’s initial examination is different than that of an adult’s, and we handle all of our examinations with kindness and professionalism.
Contact us today to make an appointment for your child or yourself. Our comprehensive facility is here for every member of your family. Call (305) 669-6555 or fill out our simple online appointment request form, and we can help your skin maintain that healthy glow.