2005 to 2015 Saw Increase in Prevalence of Total Body Skin Exams

Only race/ethnicity with increase was non-Hispanic Whites; increases seen for those aged 31 to 40, 51 to 64 years

By Dermsquared Editorial Team | March 01, 2023

The prevalence of total body skin examination (TBSE) increased from 2005 to 2015 among U.S. adults, but the increase was only seen among non-Hispanic Whites, according to a research letter published online Feb. 17 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Brandon Smith, M.D., from the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues estimated trends in population-based skin cancer screening versus surveillance by assessing the rates of self-reported TBSEs within the previous five years for adults aged 18 years or older without a personal history of skin cancer or a first-degree relative with a history of melanoma in 2005, 2010, and 2015.

The researchers found that from 2005 to 2015, the weighted prevalence of participants reporting having a TBSE within the last five years increased from 4.8 to 6.1 percent (adjusted odds ratio, 1.09). The only race/ethnicity with a significant increase in TBSE was non-Hispanic Whites (adjusted odds ratio, 1.15). Significant increases in TBSE were seen in association with higher educational attainment, female sex, and higher income. Significant increases in TBSE rates were seen in those aged 31 to 40 and 51 to 64 years.

"Our findings suggest that despite an absence of guidelines, skin cancer screening is increasing, but not among those most likely to benefit from it," the authors write. "Guidelines could help by more effectively targeting screening to those most likely to die from melanoma, lead to better utilization of the limited resources of the dermatology workforce, and assist with reducing melanoma disparities."

One author disclosed financial ties to Castle Biosciences, Skin Analytics, and DermTech.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)


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