Facing Our Fears

Facing Our Fears

With Halloween approaching quickly we may find ourselves thinking more about things that scare us each fall when the moon is full in the dark night sky.

Over time, we tend to become less scared of witches, vampires, skeletons, ghosts and goblins and move on to other phobias such as a fear of heights, flying, insects, snakes, open spaces and social situations…among others.

In regards to your skin health, do you have any specific phobias that may be preventing you from a visit?

  1. Do you have a fear of needles or blood and worry about the potential for biopsy/need for additional procedures?
  2. Do you have a fear of being diagnosed with skin cancer?
  3. If you’ve previously been diagnosed with a skin cancer(s), do you have a fear of skin cancer
  4. Do you have a fear of the unknown and worry about what could happen if something concerning was found during your Dermatology visit?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions you are not alone, the above examples are some of the most common medical fears in regards to a Dermatology setting.

Why is it important to schedule a baseline Full Body Skin Exam if you’ve never had one or if you’ve previously been diagnosed with skin cancer?

  • We know that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States.
  • Current estimates state 1 in 5 Americans will go on to develop skin cancer during their lifetime.
  • If skin cancer is detected early the prognosis tends to be very good.
  • Basal Cell Carcinomas and Squamous Cell Carcinomas are both very common and highly treatable with early detection.
  • The 5 year survival rate for Melanoma detected early (before spread to lymph nodes) is 99%.

What does a Full Body Skin Exam entail?

  • A full systematic exam of your skin (scalp to soles of feet routinely, genital areas if concerns).
  • Changing into a gown (if able) for better visualization while examining your skin.
  • Use of a specialized hand-held dermatoscope which helps to magnify lesions under bright light.
  • A possible skin biopsy if recommended for further evaluation, minimal discomfort from the brief injection of the anesthetic only.

At Clarus we are committed to making your experience as pleasant as possible.

  • Simple techniques in the clinic can be done to help ease your fears.
  • Many patients tell us it was much better than anticipated after a clinic visit, a routine biopsy or an in-office procedure has been performed for diagnosis or treatment of a skin cancer.

Call us to schedule your skin check! Early detection is the key to avoiding complications later!

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