While Norton Skin Cancer Clinic can help provide a professional skin check, it is also important for you and your family to perform regular examinations of your own skin to assist with early detection. Below we will go through what you should look for, how to perform a skin check and how often you should do it.
What to look for when checking your own skin:
When examining your skin it is important to look for the ABCDEs of skin cancer:
- Look for moles or spots on your skin that have an asymmetrical shape, including where one side of the growth is different from the other.
- Skin cancers often have irregular borders that might be blurred, ragged or indented.
- The colour of the growth is irregular or patchy, with mixes of brown, black, pink, red, white or blue.
- The mole has a diameter larger than 6 millimetres, however skin cancer can be smaller than this.
- The spot is evolving or changing in some way, including changes in shape, colour or size.
While these are the most common symptoms to looks for you should also be aware of any mole that presents redness, swelling, pain, itchiness, a spot that discharges some kind of fluid or a lesion that is not healing.
How often to look:
While you might wish to visit Norton Skin Cancer once a year for a professional check, it is very important to perform regular skin checks yourself. This will reduce the amount of time suspicious moles can grow without being noticed and dramatically increase your chances that skin cancer is caught early. It is recommended that you perform a self-check every three months, particularly in autumn and winter when summer damage often begins to present itself.
How to perform a self-check:
No one knows your skin better than you and the people you spend your time with, so you may wish to perform the skin check yourself or with a trusted family member, partner or friend. When examining your skin make sure to thoroughly review every part of your body including back, torso, legs, face and head. Skin cancer can also present itself in areas that are not often exposed to the sun such as the buttocks and feet, so make sure you thoroughly examine all areas.
If performing the check yourself you can use a hand held mirror to observe hard to see places such as your back and scalp. You may also wish to take photos of different patches of skin to help monitor any changes. If you do find a spot that concerns you, reach out to your local skin cancer specialist as soon as possible.
Get your skin examined today
Book an appointment with Norton Skin Cancer Clinic today by calling 02 9171 7858.