Why All Adults Need Regular Visits to the Dermatologist

By  //  March 12, 2023

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Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US and worldwide. While 1 in 5 Americans may develop skin cancer by age 70, the survival rate is very high.

Early detection is one of the key factors to improve survival from skin cancer. 

It’s also important to understand how skin cancer and life insurance are connected. You can get life insurance with a skin cancer diagnosis, but it may be more challenging or expensive. It also depends on how severe your diagnosis is, your treatment, and your future prognosis. 

We’ll discuss why a skin cancer screening is so important, what to expect as part of the exam, how you can make the best of your situation if you are diagnosed with skin cancer, and the importance of life insurance.

Why is skin cancer screening so important? 

The good news is that early detection can prevent more serious issues and can improve survival. There is a 99% five-year survival rate for melanoma when detected early. You don’t want to let skin cancer sneak up on you. 

Skin cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. Skin cancer screenings are also important to detect basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinomas, which are more serious types of skin cancer. 

You can perform a skin self-exam and follow up with a dermatologist so they can evaluate any suspicious or weird moles or spots. It is recommended that adults have an annual skin exam to find any skin issues sooner rather than later.

What happens during a skin exam? 

 It can be a dermatologist or a physician’s assistant working under a dermatologist that will do the exam. The health care provider may ask you questions about your health history and any family members with a history of skin cancer. 

Next, they will have you get undressed and put on a gown. They will look at all areas of your body to check for any abnormal moles or spots, skin growths, or any other skin changes. Something on your skin that may look harmless to you may indicate something more serious when examined by a health care professional. 

They may make recommendations to remove any suspicious or abnormal moles. For older adults, a dermatologist can also help with other skin issues that happen as we age. These conditions may affect the quality of life and a health care provider can recommend treatment options. 

The Best Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer

First and foremost, you should wear sunscreen on any areas of the skin that are exposed to sunlight. The best option is a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Sun-protective clothing is also helpful. Sunglasses, a hat, and clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) on the label are your best bets to protect your skin

Stay out of the sun during the hours of 10 am to 2 pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest. This is the best time to seek shade or stay indoors. If you are at the beach or a pool, an umbrella can protect you from the sun. 

Remember the acronym A-B-C-D-E to help you notice any changes in your skin. This will help you spot skin cancer and stands for:

  • A is asymmetry
  • B is border 
  • C is color
  • D is diameter
  • E is evolving 

If you notice any of these changes in a mole or spot on your skin, you should follow up with your dermatologist right after. Also, if a mole is itching or bleeding, contact your dermatologist for a skin check. 

The American Academy of Dermatology Association website has a lot of helpful resources on choosing a sunscreen, protecting your skin, skin self-exams, finding a provider, and free skin cancer screenings. 

How to Handle a Skin Cancer Diagnosis

If your healthcare provider finds a suspicious mole or diagnoses you with a type of skin cancer, it’s important to follow their guidelines and recommendations. Remember, skin cancer has a high survival rate when detected early. 

The Connection Between Skin Cancer and Life Insurance

Life insurance is necessary to protect your family’s financial future in case something unexpected happens to you. It can provide for end-of-life or burial expenses that could be a financial burden to your family. 

Young and healthy people have the lowest life insurance rates. You can get life insurance if you have health or medical issues like skin cancer, but it may be more expensive and more challenging to find coverage. You should compare rates online or meet with an insurance agent to find the best deals on life insurance. 

All adults need to keep up with regular medical visits, such as getting yearly skin exams by a dermatologist. You should also wear sunscreen, protect your skin from the sun, and report any skin changes to your health care professional. 

About Author:

Melissa Morris writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site, QuickQuote. She is a university professor of health sciences and human performance, a certified exercise physiologist, and a certified sports nutritionist.