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December 15, 2008

Seventy Seconds Inadequate for a Complete Skin Examination—Reply

Arch Dermatol. 2008;144(12):1659-1660. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2008.512

In reply

We are not surprised by the skepticism expressed by Rogers and Coldiron regarding our study1 demonstrating that a complete skin cancer screening examination requires on average only 70 seconds. Herein we attempt to address the comments and concerns expressed by Rogers and Coldiron.

Whether the examination of the scalp, mucous membranes, genitalia, and conjunctiva should be part of every routine opportunistic complete skin cancer screening examination is a matter of opinion, especially since the incidence of skin cancer in these anatomic locations is quite low.2-9 Although most of the authors of our original publication1 do not routinely examine the mucous membranes, genitalia, and conjunctiva, we do encourage our patients to periodically visit their dentist, ophthalmologist, and gynecologist. We were, however, remiss in not mentioning that we did indeed examine the scalps of individuals with sparse or absent hair.10

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