The frequency of self-skin examination and full body skin examination in dermatologists

Peter Saitta, David E. Cohen, Darrell Rigel, Steven K. Grekin, Ronald Brancaccio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Mortalities due to skin cancer are escalating, but early detection via skin examinations can be beneficial. To date, dermatologists have not been isolated as a high-risk population for developing skin cancer, although some evidence suggests that they are a high-risk Group. Therefore, the specific aims of this study were to measure the frequency at which dermatologists perform self-skin examination and receive full-body skin examination. Patients and methods: A sample of 476 respondents provided data for this cross-sectional, nine-item survey, which was e-mailed to all registered members in the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. The initial invitation was sent in the summer of 2007, with reminders sent at four and eight weeks. E-mails contained a unique identifier, and each member could only respond once to the survey sent to that particular e-mail address. Results: 71.7 percent of the respondents reported that they routinely gave themselves a self-skin examination, 25.4 percent reported a monthly exam, 24.5 percent every six months, 17.2 percent once per year, and 4.6 percent every five years. Performing a self-skin examination was not related to age, gender, or history of skin malignancy. Seventy-six percent of all respondents never had a full-body skin examination conducted by another dermatologist, which persisted when analyzed by age (p=0.0490) and gender (p=0.0184). Conclusion: Dermatologists are more likely to perform self-skin examination rather than visit another dermatologist for a full-body skin examination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-24
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


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