Skin Cancer Screening

Skin cancer screening helps identify cancerous lesions and subtle changes that can indicate an increased risk for cancer so appropriate treatment can be provided. At Luminous Dermatology, patients in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara, CA, receive comprehensive skin cancer screenings to help them stay healthy.

Skin Cancer Screening Q&A

Why are skin cancer screenings important?

Skin cancer screenings evaluate the skin all over the body to look for signs of skin cancer. Often, the signs can be very subtle and difficult to identify. A dermatologist skilled in skin cancer screenings can spot changes associated with skin cancer so additional evaluation can be performed.

What’s involved in a skin cancer screening?

Skin cancer screenings assess skin on the entire body. Patients will be asked to change into a medical gown to make the evaluation simpler and faster. Screenings take just a few minutes to perform. When an abnormal or unusual area of skin is identified, a biopsy usually will be performed to obtain a small sample of skin cells for further evaluation in a lab. Different techniques can be used to obtain a biopsy depending on the size of the lesion, its appearance, its location and other factors. Some techniques scrape skin cells from the surface while others use instruments to obtain deeper samples of tissue. Prior to a biopsy, the skin will be numbed with a local anesthetic to prevent discomfort, and a bandage will be placed over the area afterward. Once the screening is complete, patients may receive guidance about ways to minimize their risks for skin cancer, including routine use of sunscreen and limiting sun exposure.

I already use sunscreen. Do I still need a skin cancer screening?

Yes. Sunscreen use is a vitally important part of preventing skin cancer, but there are other factors aside from current sun exposure that can increase the risks of skin cancer. Childhood sun exposure plays a big role, as well as genetics. Some people develop skin cancer without knowing the specific underlying cause or contributing factors. Having a skin cancer screening is a simple, fast way to limit your risks and to have early symptoms identified and treated before they have a chance to become more serious.

How often should I have a skin cancer screening?

Skin cancer screenings should be performed every 12 months in most cases. People with risk factors for skin cancer including a personal history of skin cancer or precancerous lesions may need to be screened more often.

Major Insurance Providers Accepted

At Luminous Dermatology, we accept most major medical PPO insurance plans. Here is a short list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office and ask for Jan if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
We accept Affordable Care Act plans. We do not take HMO plans.

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Aetna
Anthem
Blue Shield
Cigna
Medicare
Tricare
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