Skin cancer is fairly common in America. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in every five people develops skin cancer sometime in their life. It’s no wonder that MOD Dermatology Gretna’s full-body skin exams and cancer screenings are one of the most popular services that we offer. Though those with a family history have a high chance of developing skin cancer, anyone is encouraged to receive a skin exam, especially if they notice any abnormalities or growths. 

A doctor analyzing an older patient's hand for any abnormalities.


There are benefits to receiving skin cancer screening services at the Gretna branch of MOD Dermatology for everyone in the local area, but we urge those with the following characteristics to highly consider receiving an exam:

  • Multiple sunburns
  • Constant exposure to the sun
  • Family history of melanoma
  • History of precancerous areas, actinic keratosis, squamous cell carcinoma, or basal cell carcinoma
  • Moles
  • Use of tanning, both indoors and outdoors

What to Expect During a Skin Exam

For many, the thought of doing a full-body skin exam can produce stress and discomfort. At MOD Dermatology near Gretna, our skin cancer screening service experts take extra care to ensure our clients are comfortable and respected. At the start of your exam, our specialists strategically cover each part of your body to ensure the most privacy. Our specialists utilize a dermatoscope, a small instrument that lights up and magnifies the specific area, to examine each part of the body for moles or unusual growths. 

How to do a self-skin exam

We highly recommend completing a self-skin exam once a month. Especially if your family has a history of skin cancer, this is a great way to detect any abnormalities early on. There could be new growth that arises in between your annual skin exam. 

Here’s how to perform a skin exam on yourself:

Step One

Go to a well-lit room in front of a mirror. Use a hand-held mirror to make it easier to see areas like the backs of your legs, neck, and torso. A close friend, partner, or family member can help you check the hard-to-see areas like your scalp.

Step Two

Take note of the way your moles, freckles, and other spots are shaped, sized, and colored. Taking mental notes or photos can help you notice any changes that occur between exams.

Step Three

As you begin your exam, start with your face, ears, neck, chest, and stomach. Then check your underarms, the front and back of your arms, the tops and palms of your hands, between your fingers, and under your fingernails. Make sure to check the skin underneath breasts and skin folds.

Step Four

Sitting down, you’ll then check your legs, including the tops of your thighs, shins, feet, between the toes, and under toenails. Then, use your hand mirror to check the bottom of your feet, calves, and the back of your thighs.

Step Five

Next, you’ll stand again and use the hand mirror to check your buttocks, genital areas, and lower back. You’ll also check the back of your neck, ears, and upper back—these areas can be easier to exam if you use your hand mirror to reflect in a larger wall mirror.

Step Six

Finally, check your scalp in sections using a small comb.

What should I look for during a self-skin exam?

During your self-skin exam, here are a few things you will want to check for and make note of: 

  1. Any moles, spots, or growths that have newly appeared or changed in size, shape, or color since your last exam
  2. A wound or sore that bleeds and doesn’t heal after several weeks
  3. A scaly, rough, or irritated patch that gets crusty or bleeds
  4. Any wart-like growths
  5. Moles that are asymmetrical, have uneven borders, are multiple colors, are larger than the size of a pencil eraser in diameter, or have evolved in size, shape, color, or other symptoms over time. A good way to remember these warning signs is “ABCDE,” standing for asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and evolving. 


If you have any skin concerns, or looking to continue preventative care, call our office near Gretna and schedule a full-body skin exam! Our board-certified dermatologists are experts in identifying abnormal growth or areas of the skin that need further investigation.