Skin checks are an essential part of preventative health care in Australia, where we have a high UV intensity compared to many other parts of the world.
At Edgeworth Family Practice our GPs are able to conduct routine skin checks to look for signs of sun damage, including suspicious lesions or spots. During your appointment, the doctor will inform you if they recommend removal or biopsy of any suspicious lesions and can advise you when to return for your next check-up. The interval between skin checks may vary depending on your skin type and history of sun exposure.
You may be at increased risk of skin cancer if you…
- Have a fair complexion that burns and freckles easily
- Have a family history of skin cancer or have had skin cancers removed previously
- Have spent a lot of time in the sun including being sunburned
- Have moles that are an irregular shape and colour
Although routine skin checks with your doctor are important, it is also best for you to be aware of any changes to your skin between check-ups, and report them promptly to your GP. For information on how to check your skin, you can visit the Skin Cancer Foundation’s website, by following the link below.
TIPS FOR PREVENTION OF SKIN CANCER
- Seek the shade, especially between 10am and 4pm.
- Cover up – wear clothing that covers the skin, sunglasses, and a broad-brimmed hat.
- Apply sunscreen every day 30 minutes before going outside. Make sure your sunscreen is in date and water-resistant if going in the water. Re-apply sunscreen at the frequency directed on the bottle if you are out in the sun for long periods of time.
- Avoid tanning in the sun and never use UV tanning beds.
- Examine your skin regularly and report any changes promptly to your GP.
- Have a professional skin examination every year, or more often if directed.