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Resolve to Check for Skin Cancer

Oncologist examining female patient with magnifier in clinicAt Romeo & Juliette, we’re the city’s preeminent laser hair removal specialists, with 12 (you read that right) different lasers that we put to use ridding our clients of their unwanted hair.

But we also like to give you tips on caring for your skin, as this will be of the utmost importance once the hair is gone. Since we’ve just turned the page on another COVID-mangled year, we say, “Good riddance,” and let’s resolve to make 2022 a better one.

Toward that end, a New York City winter is a good time to size up your skin. Of course, we want you to take inventory of all the unwanted hair you’d like to target for removal. But we also think this is a good time to head to your dermatologist and have a skin cancer screening.

Let’s get into this for the New Year.

At what age should I start having my skin checked?

There really isn’t a stock age where you should begin having your skin checked. The earlier, the better is a good way to look at it, though. If this sounds like you, you should have yearly exams beginning now. You have:

  • Fair skin, a tendency to burn rather than tan, freckles, light eye color, light or red hair color
  • Increased numbers of unusual moles, or you have over 50 moles
  • A family history of melanoma in an immediate relative
  • Already had any form of skin cancer

If you don’t have the above risk factors, 35 to 40 is a good age to start having regular skin exams. People over the age of 35, especially if you’ve received a lot of sun exposure as a youth, should have an annual skin check with a dermatologist. This is especially true if you’ve spent lots of time out at the shore, or just in your backyard with your skin covered with baby oil.

What are the benefits of getting a skin cancer screening?

Over 5 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with the various forms of skin cancer every year. It is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of skin color. Melanoma rates have doubled in the U.S. between 1982 and 2011. While melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas can be very disfiguring. The survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 99 percent.

Now you can see the logic behind yearly skin cancer screenings with a board-certified dermatologist. The key is to catch any skin cancer, but particularly melanoma, early. That’s why it is wise to have your skin checked yearly. People who are at higher risk for melanoma (see risk factors) or who have already had melanoma should have their skin checked twice yearly.

The chill of winter in the city is a good time for this. If your dermatologist needs to freeze or excise any lesion, the area can be covered in winter clothing, well, except on your face.

And if you’re ready to get started removing some unwanted hair in time for summer, give us a call at Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal, (212) 750-2000.

Posted in: Skin Cancer