MidAmerica Plastic Surgery: Ryan Diederich, MD
4955 South State Route 159 #1
Glen Carbon, IL 62034
(618) 288-7855
Monday & Wednesday: 7 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Tuesday & Thursday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.–12 p.m.

The Spa at MidAmerica Plastic Surgery
4955 South State Route 159 #1
Glen Carbon, IL 62034
(618) 307-6233
Monday – Thursday: 8 a.m.–7 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.–4 p.m.

Your Annual Skin Check: What to Expect

A skin check is a thorough examination of your entire body, performed by a medical professional, to identify any suspicious growths or lesions on the skin. How often you should be seen for a skin check depends on your personal and family history. If you have a personal or family history of skin cancer, history of severe and/or multiple sunburns, history of tanning bed use, history of organ transplant, or regular increased sun exposure (for example, a career that requires you to work outside, outdoor sports, gardening/farming activities), then you should have a professional skin check at least once a year.  

Laura McKinzie, FNP-BC, is the lead skin clinic provider within MidAmerica Plastic Surgery and will be your provider for all skin-check services. Her 10+ years of experience in evaluating and removing areas of concern on patients’ skin has led to the successful removal of many moles, cysts, and skin tags.

Preparing For Your Skin Check  

When you come to your appointment, wear comfortable clothes you can move easily in and remove any makeup. Come with a clean body and face, as lesions on the skin may be hard to see with cosmetics. You can apply lotion before your appointment if you prefer and eat and drink as normal. Please have all necessary paperwork filled out through our online portal before your appointment date. Bring your current ID and insurance card with you on the day of your appointment. Once you enter your exam room, you will be asked to remove all clothing except undergarments. A gown will be provided for you to wear during the exam. 

During Your Skin Check 

Laura will first assess any specific lesions her patients are concerned about before beginning a full-body skin check. During the skin check, she will begin looking for signs of cancer in the scalp, face and neck, chest, arms, abdomen, back, groin area, buttocks, both legs, and feet. If Laura notices any concerning changes on an individual patient’s body, she will discuss treatment options for each lesion with that patient.

Treatment options during your visit may include:  

  • Biopsy of the lesion using a numbing injection and a punch biopsy to take a small amount of tissue (about the size of the tip of a pen) to send to the pathology lab for testing.  
  • Treatment with liquid nitrogen to destroy a lesion. 
  • Monitoring of a lesion that does not have any worrisome features currently. 
  • Scheduling a procedure appointment to remove masses or lesions after precertification through your insurance company. 

After Your Skin Check 

When a biopsy is done, you will keep the bandage on for 24 hours, then wash the area with warm soapy water daily until it heals. It will take 7-10 business days to receive results. If liquid nitrogen was sprayed on the lesion, shower as usual but avoid getting water on the area that was sprayed. The skin may blister and form a scab over the lesion. Do not remove this scab, and let the area heal. If you notice any changes in the size, color, or shape of your lesion, call our office so that we can schedule another appointment. 

In addition to your annual skin check performed by a licensed medical provider, The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends performing self-skin checks four times per year. To perform an effective skin check at home, remember to look for the ABCs of skin cancer when evaluating a spot of concern: 

 

A – Asymmetry 

B – Changes in Border 

C – Changes in Color 

D – Changes in Diameter 

E – Evolving Moles 

If you notice any mole that has these traits, bleeding, itching or non-healing lesion, call your physician immediately. 

Early detection is the best defense against skin cancer. Annual skin checks are one way to ensure that your skin remains healthy. To schedule an appointment with Laura McKinzie, FNP-BC, in Glen Carbon, IL, call 618-288-7855 or fill out an online contact form here. For additional information on skin cancer procedures offered at MidAmerica, click here

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