Do I need a GP referral for my skin check appointment?
Do I need to get a skin check?
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 sunburned 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
• You have had a skin cancer before
• You have a very fair skin which burns easily
How To Prepare For Mole Check?
A Mole Check session at SKIN SURG takes 30 to 45 minutes. It is thorough, totally non-invasive and painless. Here is a list of useful tips and ideas to consider before coming to the mole check:
During the mole check you will be required to undress to your underwear.
Every single mole will be recorded during screening.
If you have any moles that are located under your underwear, please inform the screening doctor.
Gentlemen should wear shorts that do not cover their upper thighs.
Please remove every piece of jewellery, particularly bracelets or necklaces that might cover your skin.
We ask our patients, particularly women with long, thick hair, to identify any possible skin changes on the scalp prior to attending the examination. Please ask a family member to examine your scalp the day before the mole check.
If you have identified any moles on your scalp, please inform the screening doctor.
We always examine the scalp of gentlemen who generally have shorter hair.
Before the mole check do not put on a make-up base that would cover up or lighten your moles.
On the morning of your appointment do not use body lotion or hand lotion on your skin, as the grease can cover the lens of the digital dermoscope (a camera that touches the skin) and can make the mole check more difficult.
It is fine to eat before your mole check appointment.
5. MOLE CHECK OF CHILDREN:
Parents should accompany their children to the examination, because they are better able to answer questions regarding genetic and lifestyle factors that have a major influence on risk levels. We are not able to examin children under the age of 16 without the presence of an accompanying adult.
6. MOLE CHECK OF PREGNANT WOMEN:
We would recommend pregnant women to be examined because the hormonal changes during pregnancy may trigger changes in your moles.
The mole check method we use at SKIN SURG is completely safe for the unborn child and mother.
Please arrive 5 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
Skin Cancer Myths
If a mole is raised or has hair in it then it is safe.
This is totally untrue. One of the most dangerous types of melanoma is nodular melanoma and it is raised. Hair can definately be present in skin cancer.
I have olive skin so I don't need to get a skin check.
Untrue. Skin type does influence your risk of skin cancer. Fairer types of skin are at higher risk, BUT, total UV exposure and frequent sunburns as a child are also risks and are not negated by your skin type being olive.
My legs never see the sun so I don't need to get them checked.
Untrue. Sun damage to the skin influences the DNA of ALL the skin cells. The most common place for females to get melanoma is the leg, even though it may never see the sun. Skin cancer also is common in the groin, between the toes, and on the sole of feet.
I practice good sun protection now so I don't need a skin check.
Untrue. UV radiation causes IRREVERSIBLE damage to the skin. The skin is most sensitive to UV radiation when you are a child; the damage sustained in those years stays with you for life. Hence, the number of childhood sunburns is a significant risk factor for developing skin cancer.
My moles have been there for my whole life and aren't changing so I don't need a skin check.
Wrong. Most melanomas do not come from a pre-existing mole. They are derived from normal skin. Hence, it is crucial to pay close attention to NEW lesions, not just the old ones.