May 28, 2020 11:00 AM

Skin changes as you age. Freckles, wrinkles, sun spots, and moles can look different over time. So how do you know when to see a doctor?

A good rule of thumb is to talk to your doctor any time you’re worried about changes to your body. Your doctor can help figure out if you need more testing and work with you to find the right care. If you think you might have cancer, there are steps you can take.

If you’re worried about skin changes, it’s best to see a dermatologist. Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) recommends everyone over the age of 18 visit a dermatologist each year for a total-body skin exam (TBSE), which screens for cancer.


During a TBSE, the dermatologist examines your entire body in addition to the areas you’re worried about. Getting a TBSE each year makes it more likely you’ll catch skin cancer early, when it’s easiest to treat.

Most health insurance companies now cover a preventive skin cancer screening. Each policy is different, so check with your insurance about doctors and facilities. Once you find a dermatologist, ask the doctor if they can provide a TBSE at your appointment.

In addition to a yearly dermatologist visit, check your skin at home. Become familiar with your own moles and freckles so you can notice changes if they occur. HCI doctors recommend you check your skin once a month. Learn more about how to protect your skin, how to check your skin, and skin cancer signs to look for. If you see any changes on your skin or have concerns, take care of your health by talking with your doctor.

To learn more about screening for skin cancer, call the HCI Cancer Learning Center at 1-888-424-2100. Our cancer information specialists can talk with you about where to get skin cancer screenings or help you schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.

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Cancer touches all of us.

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