What are Skin Checks and How are They Performed?
With the high risk of skin cancer present in Australia, regular skin checks have become a practice for people of all ages and skin types. Skin Checks are performed by a skin cancer specialist. After you arrive at our clinics, you will be asked a few questions about your skin cancer history, risk factors and relevant information concerning your previous and current medical problems. Before you decide to visit our clinic, please complete and send us the Patient Registration Form because it helps us find out more about you.
After the discussion, the doctor will conduct a full body examination and look for suspicious moles and spots that many times you are unaware of. In case you have seen some unusual changes on your skin, you don’t have to go through a full-body examination (but we strongly recommend you do because many times there are spots you won't be able to notice) and instead, the doctor can examine the individual spots you are concerned about. After that, the doctor will take a close look at any unusual spots using a dermoscope. Through the dermoscope, the medical professional can tell if the spot is abnormal.
If during the assessment, the doctor notices potential areas that are at a risk of becoming cancerous, he/she will use an advanced screening technology to scan detailed digital images of the spot or mole. The results will determine the further actions and advice you get from the doctor. Sometimes, you might need a minor surgery that can be performed after the screening or you might need to have tissue taken for biopsy for the suspicious lesions. For more complicated procedures (if needed) you will have to return at another day.
The doctor will provide useful advice on skin self-examination and skin cancer prevention, including wearing sunscreen when exposed to the sun, when and why you need regular skin checks regardless of your skin type, especially if you are working a profession that demands lots of sun exposure through the entire year.
After the screening, depending on the outcome, the doctor will recommend a follow-up. If everything is fine, based on the skin type, your risk factors and possible abnormalities, the doctor will recommend when the next full-body skin check-up should be done. If there are some unusual spots that have not proven to be skin cancer, you might have to return after some time for a re-examination. If there are no significant changes, they are unlikely to be skin cancer. In case the spots look significantly abnormal, you might have to return for a diagnose or performing skin cancer surgery.