Originally posted on https://www.erahealth.com.au/blog/skin-checks-prevention/
Did you know 2 out of 3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer before they’re 70?
Living in Melbourne gives us access to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Who doesn’t want to soak up the sun in crystal blue waters and bask on soft, white sand?
But too much sunlight can take a toll on your skin. It can be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions to check for melanoma.
Consult with your doctor about receiving skin checks in Melbourne. Discover why early detection of skin cancer, conditions, and abnormalities can save your life.
Skin Assesments Can Save Your Life
If you find a suspicious mark on your skin, don’t wait to have it checked. Early detection can help to save your life.
Getting your skin checked doesn’t necessarily have to do with a cancer screening. Skin checks in Melbourne are also useful for determining the overall health of a person.
Doctors can check for other skin conditions, abnormalities, as well as things like dehydration and liver problems. Your skin can say a lot about the health of your body!
As Australians, we face a higher risk of skin cancer. This is due to the sheer amount of sunlight we receive on a daily basis. In fact, skin cancer accounts for about 80% of cancer diagnosed in Australians each year.
Melanoma at Any Age
There is no specific age range when getting your skin checked is important. Melanoma can strike at any age, young or old. The key is to spot it early and go in for a screening.
Doctors recommend that if you have a family history of skin cancer or if you suntan or use a tanning bed, you should regularly have your skin checked by a professional. These factors can greatly increase your risk of skin cancer.
For others, regular checks might not be necessary. Instead, you should stick to making an appointment when you notice any irregular marks or concerning spots.
Protect from Melbourne Sun
How to Spot Skin Cancer
There are a few things to watch out for when you are looking at your skin. While some doctors will make skin checks a part of their regular check-ups, you may need to schedule an extra appointment if you notice one of the following characteristics.
Keep an eye on beauty marks or moles that look irregular. It’s good to follow the ABCDE rule when trying to spot melanoma.
If you find a mole that is oddly shaped and doesn’t resemble an oval or circle, then you should have it checked by a professional. Asymmetry in birthmarks is a sign of skin cancer.
What do the edges of your mole look like? Are they rough and jagged? This could also be of concern.
The color of your mole is another factor. Does it have multiple tones of brown and black rather than one shade? Other signs could be shades of pink, red, white or blue.
The size of your birthmark can also be a sign of melanoma or skin cancer. If the diameter of the mole is larger than 6.35 millimeters or the size of an eraser head, then you should have it looked at.
It is possible for melanoma to be smaller than this as well. So refer to the other signs if it is small.
If you’ve noticed that your mole or birthmark is changing shape, color, and/or size, then this is considered evolving. This is another sign of melanoma.
Not all cancerous moles will meet the descriptions mentioned above. Some can show up with other symptoms including itchiness, soreness, bleeding, oozing or swelling. Any changes or new spots should be shown to your doctor just in case!
Know Your Skin
Despite skin cancer being the most common of all cancers, it’s also the easiest to cure if you are able to treat it early. That’s why you should make it a regular habit to thoroughly check your skin monthly. This is especially if you have light or freckly skin that burns easily.
Knowing your own skin will help you spot any changes early. Don’t forget to check your back, scalp, and underarms. You may need to have an extra mirror on hand in order to view hard to reach places.
You will also want to have a pencil for measuring the diameter of larger moles. If you see anything suspicious, make an appointment with a medical professional. The earlier you get treatment, the more likely melanoma can be cured.
What to Expect
When visiting your doctor for a skin check, they can be as thorough as you like. Typically your doctor will use a strong overhead light and glasses with magnifiers to scan your skin for unusual looking moles.
For patients with a personal or family history of skin cancer, your doctor will want to look at all areas of your skin. If nothing is found, it will usually take only 10 to 15 minutes.
If your doctor notices something unusual, they will use a tool called a dermatoscope to take a closer look at the spot. It actually has a light that allows your doctor to see through the first layer of skin.
If your doctor finds something that might need to be removed, they will first take a sample and test it to see if it is cancerous. This is called a biopsy, in which they will give you a shot to numb the area and then scrape off a sample of your skin.
They will send this sample to a lab in order to see if it is cancerous. From there, your doctor will consult with you on next steps depending on the best treatment plan.
Where Can I Find Skin Checks in Melbourne?
If you’d like to find a reliable place in Melbourne to have your skin checked then simply sign up for an appointment.
Our professional doctors are highly specialised in skin checks. We are equipped with the latest modern facilities. Plus we are conveniently located near the corner of Bourke Street and Queen Street.
Skin checks in Melbourne are an important part of your regular healthcare. Don’t risk waiting to find a provider near you!