Doctors may be Educating more than Their Patients
- Posted on: Jun 15 2018
Healthcare providers have become increasingly aware of the need to educate patients in matters of health and wellness. Cardiologists support patient health by offering dietary and lifestyle tips for cardiovascular function. Gynecologists teach women how to perform breast exams on themselves in between professional screenings. Dermatologists help their patients by showing them how to perform self-exams for skin cancer. It turns out, dermatologists and other physicians who might come face to face with skin cancer may also be educating other professionals. Here, we want to discuss the importance of knowing how tattoos affect our ability to diagnose skin cancer.
There is no denying the popularity of tattoos in today’s culture. This method of self-expression has been around for centuries and has become more refined as new techniques and pigment processes have been developed. As far as we have come in the acceptance and safety surrounding tattoos, there is more to learn. For example, what is the exact effect of nanoparticles of pigment on the lymph nodes and the body’s future ability to fight disease? Another aspect of tattoos, one that we have a fair amount of control over at this point, is how tattoos are performed around moles.
According to research, there is currently no standard to which all tattoo artists adhere. Every artist may have their own way of dealing with the moles they observe or are asked to cover. In one survey, only 29% of tattoo artists stated that they had ever recommended that a client have a mole or other growth checked by a dermatologist. In a 2016 survey, 55% of tattoo artists stated that they did not tattoo over areas of skin with a spot, growth, or rash. The reason why? Because the skin condition could affect the appearance of the tattoo.
Tattoo artists are artists; they are not doctors. However, knowing that tattoo ink could very easily disguise the presence of a suspicious growth, there is an extraordinary opportunity for doctors to expand their awareness to other professionals who deal with the skin.
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