Skin Self Exam

How to Examine Your Skin 

It's important to check your own skin, preferably once a month. Self-examination is best done in a well-lit room in front of a full-length mirror. A hand-held mirror can be used for areas that are hard to see. A spouse or close friend or family member may be able to help you with these exams, especially for those hard-to-see areas like the lower back or the back of your thighs.

The first time you inspect your skin, spend a fair amount of time carefully going over the entire surface of your skin. Learn the pattern of moles, blemishes, freckles, and other marks on your skin so that you will notice any changes. Any trouble spots should be seen by a doctor. Follow these step-by-step instructions to perform your skin self-exam:

Face the mirror and have a hand mirror for your thighs, back, and scalp:

Check your face, ears, neck, chest, and belly. Women will need to lift breasts to check the skin underneath. Check both sides of your arms, the tops and palms of your hands, and your fingernails. Sitting down, first check one leg, then the other. Inspect the bottoms of feet, calves, and the backs of thighs.
Use a hand mirror to inspect back of neck, shoulders and upper arms. Use a hand mirror to inspect back, buttocks and legs.