• sherri sherri
    August 12, 2008
    In an all over skin exam, is it standard for the "private parts" to also be examined for cancer?
    sherri sherri
    August 12, 2008

    Mine and my husband's dermatologist examines our private areas when he does an all-over body skin exam.  Is this standard?  I thought so, but a friend of mine thinks it is not.  Please advise.



  • Dr. Hema Sundaram
    Health Guide
    September 03, 2008
    Dr. Hema Sundaram
    Health Guide
    August 12, 2008

    Dear Sherri,


    It is absolutely appropriate and an essential part of a complete skin examination or skin cancer screening for your outer genital region to be examined. This is an area where you can develop skin cancer, pre-cancer or other problems. You should also examine your genitalia yourself when performing skin self-examination as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology. Your hair, mouth and nails should also be examined as they are derived from your skin. I think it's best for the dermatologist to have a chaperone in the examination room while performing the skin exam so that the patient feels comfortable. It's especially helpful for a female assistant to serve as a chaperone when the dermatologist is male  and the patient is female.


    If you feel uncomfortable with how your genital exam is being performed, you should discuss this with your dermatologist.


    Hope this helps.


    Dr. Hema

  • HealthGal
    Health Guide
    August 14, 2008
    Health Guide
    August 12, 2008

    I have never had my dermatologist examine the genital area closely - my once a year Gyn exam usually takes care of a close up look and PAP smear at that time.  Did you offer any information during the "history part" of your discussion with the dermatologist that might have him examining you for a herpes rash or other skin

    STD signs?  Do you have a family  history of skin cancer that might be encouraging the dermatologist to want to scrutinize you more closely?  If not, I would come right out and ask the reason directly from the doctor and see if the explanation offered is adequate.


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