Approximately 3.3 million Americans receive a diagnosis of non-melanoma skin cancer each year. An equally alarming number are diagnosed with the more deadly skin cancer of melanoma. The best way to beat skin cancer is to catch it in its earliest phases, by being alert to changes in your skin. A new mole on the back of the hand or a discoloration or growth on the face is easy to spot — but what about when skin cancer shows up at the small of your back?
Full body skin photography can give you a complete and accurate map of every square inch of skin on your body, allowing you to compare the images against your current skin condition at any time.
This can be an invaluable tool to help you become instantly aware if a new mole appears or an existing one changes. At MD Vein and Skin Specialists in Columbia, Maryland, Dr. Clement Banda offers skin cancer checks and can inform you about your risks.
Purpose of full body skin photography
Full body skin photography, also referred to as total body photography, can be a very valuable tool for the early detection of skin cancer, especially in patients who have multiple moles or are otherwise at high risk.
The purpose of full body skin photography is to create a known baseline for the patient in the form of a series of images that can be referred to later. If you are able to see all of your skin, and examine the images for any signs of moles, you can go back later with a hand mirror and check again, referring to the images to see if a new mole has appeared or a mole you already had has changed.
This type of self exam, combined with verification by your doctor, can significantly increase your chances of survival if skin cancer is found. Since you can benefit from early detection by comparing images taken over time, full body skin photography is becoming more popular.
Should you have full skin body photography?
Dr. Banda might recommend total body photography for you if you have a history of skin cancer, have family members with skin cancer, or if you have a lot of moles. If you use full body skin photography to create a baseline, he can help you go over images regularly. Things to look for when scanning your skin include:
- New moles or skin tags
- Moles that have changed in size, shape, or color
- Moles that have become crusty or scaly
Are you at heightened risk of skin cancer? Talk to Dr. Banda about total body photography. You can book an appointment online, or call our office at 443-267-2428 to request a consultation today.