Annual skin checks are recommended for many patients by the American Academy of Dermatology. Have a full skin check done, and find out from your dermatologist how often you should return based on your personal risk factors to be on the safe side.

Anyone who has a family history of melanoma should have the skin on their full body examined once a year to detect melanoma in its earliest stages, starting at the age of 14 years old.

Any patient who has had a precancerous lesion (actinic keratoses), or a skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma) should be checked every year.

People with many moles or “dysplastic nevi” need to be checked regularly as well. Other risk factors include many freckles, red or blonde hair, blue or green eyes, and a history of a peeling sunburn (just once is enough) in the lifetime.

In addition to screening for skin cancers, annual skin examinations are useful for addressing questions about new growths on the skin, and other skin concerns like, dandruff, skin tags and cysts. It is a useful tool for health maintenance; have you had yours done this year?