4 Ways a DermaScan Reveals Sun Damage
Unless we’re talking about a case of lobster face after a long trip to the beach, sun damage can be hard to see with the naked eye. A brief look at your face in a DermaScan can be helpful in illuminating the damage the sun has caused, even from decades ago. While DermaScans provide an indicator of what your skin has been through, they are not skin cancer tests and you should discuss anything they show with a doctor before drawing any conclusions. Since sunscreen and long sleeve shirts may not have always been in your beach day plans, we’ve outlined five signs and symptoms that a derma scan could be the enlightenment you need to consult with your physician and get checked for skin cancer.
- You had sunburns as a kid. We all had times as a child when applying sunscreen was just too tedious a task. There were beaches to run on and games to play! Unfortunately, your skin could be paying for those offenses now. Basal cell and squamous cell tumors owe their existence primarily to sun exposure, often from as far back as childhood. These cancers are commonly found on areas of the body that see the most sun– the face, shoulders, arms, and legs. So, while the derma scan won’t identify anything as skin cancer, it will give you a sense of the damage your skin may be enduring and can indicate if a doctor’s visit is in order.
- You wear high SPF sunscreen religiously. While that’s fantastic and congratulations are in order, sunscreen is not 100 percent protective. You may have noticed that sun cream is no longer labeled as “sunblock.” You see, it doesn’t block the sun completely. You can still get a tan when wearing sunscreen, which– you guessed it– means your skin is experiencing damaging effects of the sun.
- You notice pink colored spots, flaky skin, or long lasting pimples on your body. These are all indicators of basal cell and squamous cell cancers. That doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what your spot or pimple is, but these types of growths and skin spots may indicate sun damage and should definitely be checked out by your doctor ASAP.
- You have moles. Granted, most of us do. But if yours are asymmetrical, have a jagged border, vary in color, are larger in diameter than a pencil eraser, or evolve quickly or even over time, melanoma may be present in your skin. Again, you may just have interesting moles that tell the story of who you are, but they should be analyzed by a professional to rule out possible skin cancers.
A doctor should always be consulted to provide a comprehensive reading of your skin, but getting a DermaScan allows you to see firsthand the sun damage (as well as oily and dry spots) that sprinkle your face. The outcome of the scan can be a good starting point for monitoring your skin and can provide a way to begin a conversation with your doctor. Then, you can use it as a check-in tool between doctor’s visits to see how well you’re treating your skin.