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Skin Check


Many people in Australia worry about skin cancer with good reason. We have the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with 2 out of every 3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer within their lifetime.

Anyone with a risk factor for skin cancer should consider getting a whole body skin examination. Skin cancers can appear even on areas of the body that are not exposed to the sun.

Our patients are people from all walks of life. Here are some of the risk factors that increase the risk of having a skin cancer:

  • A family member has had a skin cancer treated

  • You have been sunburnt in the past, particularly as a child

  • You have used a solarium in the past, particularly under the age of 30

  • You have a large number of moles on your body

  • You work outdoors or have done so in the past

  • You regularly pursue an outdoor sport such as cricket, golf, surfing, running, or swimming

  • You have had a skin cancer before

  • You have a very fair skin which burns easily



Prior to your initial skin check please look at your skin, scalp and private areas and note anything of particular concern that you may wish to mention to your doctor. Please do not wear any makeup, artificial tanner or hand or toe nail polish to your appointment. This is so your doctor has a clear and unobstructed view of your skin.

During a skin check your doctor will ask you to undress down to your undergarments. You will be asked to lie or sit on the examination couch and the doctor will examine your skin using a Dermlite Lumio which magnifies and illuminates the skin. Any lesions needing further detailed examination will be checked with a dermatoscope, which allow the doctor to see the patterns within the spot with a remarkable amount of detail. Several studies have shown that doctors trained in the use of dermoscopy have a high degree of accuracy in detecting skin cancers. If you know there is a mole that the doctor has not seen (perhaps under the underwear) you should let them know so they can examine this also.


Any lesion which appears to be suspicious will be noted. The doctor will discuss with you the need for a biopsy (where a small part of the lesion is removed and sent for pathological examination) or excision (where the lesion is completely removed). Some moles require only observation, which may involve the use of digital photography to monitor the mole.

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