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Doctors say you should consider adding annual skin exams to your routine

Even if you avoid the sun, doctors say it's still a good idea to get checked out.

HOUSTON — Though many know the risks of sun tanning, millions of Americans continue to lay out in the sun to obtain their desired glow.

"I'm from that generation that worshiped the sun," said Ottley Sims. "We did everything we could to be in the sun a lot and tried to get a beautiful tanned body. Back then we didn't know that the price was high." 

For Sims, the price was reoccurring precancerous skin growths. 

"I've had two on my left leg," she said. "One down by my ankle, one on the very back of my leg." 

Sims has been coming to Dr. Megan Rogge's dermatologist's office for about four years. Throughout that time, she's spotted multiple precancerous growths. 

"The one on my hand was really weird," Sims said. "It just popped up all of a sudden and looked like a volcano. It came to a head, and it hurt." 

Sims recently underwent "Mohs" surgery to remove the growth.

Now, twice a year, Sims gets a full body check. Something many people do annually.

"I start at the head, go down to the toes, go back up to the head on the other side," UT Physicians dermatologist Megan Rogge. "Have them turn onto their belly and do the same thing all over again." 

Depending on what's found determines how often you should visit your dermatologist for a full-body skin exam. 

"I think everyone should do this," Dr. Rogge said. "Early detection is key in all types of skin cancers. You're going to have the best outcome if you catch things early." 

And even if you avoid the sun, Dr. Rogge says it's still a good idea to get checked out. 

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