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Skin Check
in Rolling Meadows, IL

Skin cancer is, by far, the most common type of cancer. Dermatologists recommend monthly self-exams, where you give your body a thorough once-over to check for anything suspicious. If you know what warning signs to look for, you can spot skin cancer early and begin treatment before it spreads. Arlington Dermatology offers full-body skin exams to help patients detect skin cancer early. We welcome patients from Rolling Meadows, Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village and the surrounding areas of Illinois.

What is a Skin Check?

A skin check, also known as a skin cancer screening exam or a skin exam, is a visual inspection of the skin performed by a dermatologist. The purpose of a skin check is to look for potential skin cancers or other suspicious spots that may require further evaluation. During a full-body skin exam, we carefully examine all areas of the skin from head to toe, including the back, chest, arms, legs, scalp, nails, feet, and between the toes. The purpose of this thorough inspection is to identify skin cancers like melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma in their early stages when they are highly curable.

Skin Check in Rolling Meadows, IL

What Happens During a Skin Cancer Screening?

A skin screening exam takes about 10-15 minutes and is completely painless. A dermatologist will thoroughly examine all skin on your body from head to toe, using sight and occasionally touch to identify moles and/or lesions with abnormal shapes, borders, colors, or sizes. In some cases, we may use tools like dermatoscopes or lights to get a closer look at any suspicious spots. If any suspicious lesions are discovered during the screening, we may recommend follow-up tests like a biopsy to determine if cancer is present.

Who Should Receive a Skin Check?

Dermatologists and many other health professionals widely agree that skin checks should be performed on an annual basis, at a minimum. Patients who are at a higher risk for skin cancer may want to receive more frequent skin exams, either at 6-month or 3-month intervals. You might be considered to be at a higher risk of developing skin cancer if you have any of the following:

  • Fair skin that burns easily
  • Personal or family history of skin cancer
  • History of bad sunburns as a child/teenager
  • Lots of cumulative sun exposure
  • Use of tanning beds

Additionally, if you are experiencing any signs of skin cancer, you should schedule a skin exam at your earliest convenience.

What are the Signs of Skin Cancer?

It’s important to be familiar with the signs of skin cancer so that you can perform self-exams and schedule skin exams with a dermatologist if you discover anything suspicious. The signs of skin cancer will vary depending on the type of skin cancer, and include the following:


The warning signs of melanoma can be identified with the ABCDE rule.

  • A is for Asymmetry
    • One side of the mole doesn’t match the other.
  • B is for Border
    • The edges are ragged, blurred, or notched.
  • C is for Color
    • A single mole has multiple shades of blue or black, sometimes with patches of red, pink, white, or blue.
  • D is for Diameter
    • Spots larger than 1/4 inch, or about the size of a pencil eraser, cause the most concern.
  • E is for Evolution
    • The mole changes size, color, or shape over time.

Basal Cell Carcinomas

Signs of basal cell carcinoma include:

  • Flat, firm, yellow, or pale patches of skin resembling a scar
  • Raised red patches, which may be itchy
  • Small, pearl-like bumps with a red or pink hue, and possibly and some brown, black, or blue areas
  • Pink growths with a raised perimeter and sunken center, possibly with blood vessels spreading out from it
  • Open sores that won’t get better, or they heal and then return

Squamous Cell Carcinomas

Squamous cell carcinomas typically grow on parts of the body that receive frequent or excessive sun exposure. Signs to look out for include:

  • Rough, scaly red patches of skin that may crust or bleed
  • Raised lumps with a lower area at the center
  • Wart-like growths
  • Open sores that won’t get better, or they heal and then return

Other Concerns

Beyond the common skin cancer signs outlined above, there are a few other things you should keep an eye out for. These include:

  • Any new spots
  • A spot that doesn’t look like the rest
  • Any sores that won’t heal
  • Redness or swelling surrounding a mole
  • Color that spreads from a mole to the surrounding skin
  • Itchiness, pain, or tenderness that doesn’t go away or keeps returning
  • Moles that ooze, bleed, become scaly, or develop a bump

What Happens if Skin Cancer is Detected During My Skin Exam?

If anything suspicious is detected during the exam, we will discuss recommended next steps like a biopsy. If results come back positive for skin cancer, we will go over different treatment options including surgery, cryotherapy, topical chemotherapy, and more. Catching skin cancer early makes treatment much more effective. At Arlington Dermatology, we specialize in the detection and treatment of skin cancers to help patients overcome skin cancer diagnoses and return to normalcy.

To schedule your next skin exam, contact us today at Arlington Dermatology. Our team of dermatologists specialize in skin cancer detection and treatment. Located in Rolling Meadows, we welcome patients from Prospect Heights, Hoffman Estates, Buffalo Grove and the nearby areas of Illinois.