Ask the Expert: Can You Get Skin Cancer “Where the Sun Doesn’t Shine?” Should You Remove All Clothing for a Skin Exam?

Yes, and yes again! While skin cancers are less commonly diagnosed in areas that are normally shielded from the sun, they can and do develop there. There are a number of factors that play a role in the development of skin cancer — including genetics and environmental pollution — that have nothing to do with the sun’s rays. One of the reasons why a complete skin exam is so valuable is that your dermatologist will be able to notice changes that may be normally hidden under clothing. This way, any suspected skin cancers can be diagnosed and treated promptly. Don’t worry, your doctor will respect your modesty with an exam gown and/or cloth draping.

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