Skin checks

Skin checks and treatment

Australia has one of the highest rates of Melanoma and skin cancer in the world.  Skin cancer is more common with increasing age, but young people can also have skin cancers.

Melanoma are usually very ugly looking skin cancers.  

A useful algorithm to help remember signs of skin cancer is:

  • Asymmetry (different from one side to the other)
  • Border irregularity
  • Colour difference or change in colour 
  • Different to other moles
  • Evolving/Elevated
  • Firm
  • Growing

If you have had skin cancer of any type, you are more likely to have another one and should have regular skin checks.  Your doctor can advise how often you will need them.  

Another common sign of a skin cancer is a sore that isn’t healing, is bleeding or itching.

If you have any concerns about your skin or a skin lesion please book with your GP for a full skin check.  It is important to come to this appointment with no makeup or nail polish on to ensure no lesions are missed.

Frequently Asked Questions

A new skin lesion or one that is bleeding, itchy or not healing needs to be checked. Please do not wait and see as this can be an early sign of skin cancer. The longer the lesion is left the more chance of it spreading.

This answer will be different for everybody depending on your family history, whether you have had a skin cancer yourself and the type of medication you are on. If you are on any medication that reduces how effectively your immune system works you may need more frequent skin checks.

Some skin types put people more at risk of skin cancers, particularly if you are very pale and have red hair. It is important for everyone to prevent sunburn by wearing a hat, sunscreen and glasses when out in the sunshine.