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The importance of having regular skin checks

Australia has one of the highest incidences of skin cancer in the world. Approximately two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70 with this number increasing each year.

As we spend more time in the sun during the warmer months, it is important to be aware of your risks for developing skin cancer and how to prevent it.

So what is a skin check appointment?
Put simply, a skin check is a comprehensive assessment conducted annually for any signs of skin cancer. Regular skin checks are vital, as they can pinpoint early signs of skin diseases (i.e. melanoma) before they advance. The recommended practice is to book an appointment with a GP, who specialises in skin cancer diagnosis and treatment.

An initial appointment goes for around 30 minutes and consists of a comprehensive past history and scan of your body. Pictures of particular skin sites can be taken and compared to for future skin check appointments.

How to check your skin

Make sure you are in a room with good light, completely undress and place yourself in front of a full length mirror. Make sure you check your entire body, you can use a hand-help mirror for those tough to see spots.

  • Face and scalp
  • Neck and shoulders
  • Front and back of your arms, including armpits
  • Front and back of hands, between your fingers and under the fingernails
  • Legs
  • Between toes and on soles of feet

What to look for

  • New moles
  • Moles that increase in size
  • Irregular outline of a mole
  • A spot that changes colour
  • Moles that itch or tingle
  • Moles that bleed

With summer just around the corner, everyone is shedding their “winter woollies” for board shorts and bikinis to make the most of our wonderful beach and outdoor lifestyle. Now is the ideal time to make an appointment with the specialist GPs here to perform a thorough skin check. If you suspect any new spots or suspicious moles, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with us. We can’t wait to see you!

Above all else, enjoy the coming summer months, carefree!

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