Brand SpotlightYour Healthy Family


Your Healthy Family: What it's like to get a skin check

Posted at 7:18 AM, Aug 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-08 07:36:01-04

ESTERO, Fla. — Have you ever gone to the Dermatologist to get your skin checked for cancer? Fox 4 Anchor Lisa Greenberg went for the first time and is showing you what to expect.

Dr. Gregory Houck of Houck Dermatology in Estero started with some questions.

"Is there anything that you are concerned about, or anything that that bothers you, or anything that's been changing?" he asked Lisa.

Lisa told him about a mole she's had on her right upper arm for years. She had it checked by another dermatologist in 2019, and at that time, that doctor told her to keep an eye on it to see if it grows.

"I've noticed that just looking at it, it's changed shape a little bit. So, to me, if I had to pick one spot on my body that's a concern, it would be that mole," Lisa said.

"The edges are a little bit irregular, the borders are jagged. What about the color? Because you have a little bit of color variation. There's some light and darker pigment," Houck said. "So we'll come back to that."

Dr. Houck then started examining Lisa's scalp.

"We do see skin cancers in the scalp area, and so it's always good to check," Dr. Houck said. "It's a lot easier to wear a hat. And if you have a lot of hair, it's going to be difficult to put sunscreen on here."

He said moles that are uniform, or look similar to other moles on Lisa's body, aren't a concern. The concerning ones are ones that are unique. He then had Lisa stand to check her back and legs.

Dr. Houck asked if Lisa had a history of skin cancer, which she does not. He didn't find any concerning spots on my body except for the mole on her right upper arm.

"That's something we ought to consider doing a test on," he said. "So what that would entail is, we would clean the area, I would numb the area, and I would do what's called a shave biopsy."

Dr. Houck did the biopsy right on the spot. He started by numbing the area with an injection.

"So you will feel a little pinch and a burn," he said.

Less than 30 seconds later, Lisa couldn't feel a thing.

Using a small blade, Dr, Houck shaved off a thin layer of Lisa's skin where that suspicious mole was. He then cleaned the area, covered it with ointment and a bandaid, and told her to stay out of the pool or water at the beach for the next few days.

"For now, that's all we're going to do. And we will send that in. And I would say, in just a couple of days, we'll get an answer. And we'll call you. And we'll go from there," he said.

Two days later, Dr. Houck's office told Lisa the spot came back negative for skin cancer. They said it wasa "maturity spot."