Skin Self-Exam (SSE)
Steps for a Skin Self-Exam
- Look at your body-front and back-in the mirror. Lift your arms and check your left and right sides.
- Make sure you check your whole body thoroughly, not missing any areas.
- Become familiar with your body. Know where your moles, birthmarks, and blemishes are and what they usually look like.
- Bend your elbows and look carefully at your forearms, upper arms, and hands. Make sure to check the undersides of these areas as well.
- Look at the back and front of your legs and feet. Do not forget between your toes and the soles of your feet.
- Check your face, the front and back of your neck, and your scalp using a hand mirror. Part your hair for a closer look. Most people have a lot of trouble looking at their own scalp. Sharing this task with a friend or partner makes things easier. If your hair is long, using a hair dryer to blow it out of the way may make seeing the scalp easier.
- Check your back and buttocks with a hand mirror.
American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca/
Canadian Dermatology Association http://www.dermatology.ca
How do I check my skin? American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org/spot-skin-cancer/understanding-skin-cancer/how-do-i-check-my-skin. Accessed June 13, 2012.
Skin cancer prevention and early detection. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/ped%5F7%5F1%5FSkin%5FCancer%5FDetection%5FWhat%5FYou%5FCan%5FDo.asp. Updated June 27, 2011. Accessed June 13, 2012.
Zoorob R, Anderson R, Cefalu C, Sidani M. Cancer screening guidelines. Am Fam Physician. 2001;63(6):1101-1113.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 06/2012 -
- Update Date: 06/13/2012 -