A large number of skin lesions are noticed by individuals or their family members before they actually go to the doctor*.
But how often do you really look?
Love it. Respect it. Check it.
Research shows that there is no specific method or recommended frequency for self-checks. Just like with breasts, checking your skin regularly at home is mainly about knowing what looks and feels right, so that you can tell when something is wrong.
The only rule is to check everywhere.
When you strip off to have a good look, just remember to check all areas of your skin, including skin not normally exposed to the sun**. If you can, ask someone to help you with those hard-to-check areas, like your back.
Look for changes in the shape, colour or size of your moles. The changes can be slow, or quite sudden — so it’s important to keep checking over time.
Find something suspicious?
Don’t freak out if you find anything unusual — just contact your doctor as soon as you can, and get any fears you have addressed. They are the first point of call in the assessment and diagnosis of skin cancer, and will be able to refer you to specialist care if needed.
There are a few options for medical professionals who can carry out checks for you. Head over to the Cancer Council website to read more about checking yourself. You can also read more in our article Where Should I Go For a Skin Check?
Remember: don’t worry too much about getting it perfectly right, just make sure you get it done! You can also sign up for Health Nudge, so we can send you a gentle reminder to check yourself over every now and then.
Find out what health checks matter to your body.
* Koh H K, Miller DR, Geller AC, Clapp RW, Mercer MB, Law RA, Who discovers melanoma? Journal of American Academy Dermatology 1992; 26: 914-919. ** Position statement: Screening and early detection of skin cancer Published August 2007
Tell us a little about yourself, and we’ll tell you what preventative tests matter to you.
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