In An All Over Skin Exam, Is It Standard For The "Private Parts" To Also Be Examined For Cancer?

Question

Asked by sbell52

In An All Over Skin Exam, Is It Standard For The "Private Parts" To Also Be Examined For Cancer?

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.

Answer

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