What makes a thorough skin check?

26th May, 2017 • Melanoma Awareness, Preventative Tips

It can be hard to know what is important and what makes a thorough skin check when deciding to have your skin checked.

Keeping an eye on your own skin or having some form of skin check is definitely better than doing nothing. But if you are after the most professional, thorough and reassuring service to provide you with complete peace of mind, have a read of the below tips.

1. Experts
When having your moles diagnosed, dermatologist diagnosis is the gold standard. Dermatologists are skin specialist experts with many years of study and experience in skin cancer, and differ from general specialists (GPs with a special interest in skin cancer).

2. Records
Having a photographic record with associated notes helps to identify melanoma early. How? The universal truth about melanoma is change. If you have a baseline record of your skin surface changes over time can be identified, which may indicate early stage melanoma. Early stage melanoma is almost 100% curable.

3. Frequency
As melanoma can appear at anytime – winter, summer, spring, autumn, today, tomorrow, in five years from now – it is important to have regular checks. How often you need a check will vary depending on your risk. Checking your own skin every three months along with regular checks by a health care professional will help you to be in control.

4. Subsurface Imaging of Moles
Subsurface imaging, also known as dermoscopy, is a screening tool used to diagnose melanoma and skin cancers at an early stage. Dermoscopy uses a special lens that allows you to see more features than the naked eye. It has greatly improved diagnostic accuracy and reduced the need to excise many moles unnecessarily.

5. Total Body Imaging
Did you know that roughly 50% of all melanomas first appear on unmarked skin i.e. not in pre-existing moles/lesions? Creating a high-resolution medical record of your skin (total body photography) helps specialists identify both new and changing lesions that might indicate melanoma.

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