DON’T FORGET YOUR SKIN CHECK…
Australia has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world. Luckily, if found early, most dangerous moles and spots can be removed which significantly reduces your risk of developing skin cancer.
If you’ve noticed a change in a mole or spot, don’t risk your health. Get your skin checked by your Practitioner – especially if you are over 40 and/or have sun-damaged skin, or multiple moles and freckles.
While most GP’s can perform skin checks, there is a Practitioner who has further qualifications in this field and can also remove any dangerous spots or moles saving you a trip to the Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon.
HOW TO CHECK YOUR OWN SKIN…
While ARHACC encourage everyone to have an annual skin check, it’s also important to check your own skin once a month so you’ll notice quickly if any changes occur. Here’s how to perform a skin check on your own body, and what to look out for.
As Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, the ABCDE of melanoma detection is a useful guide when checking your skin.
If you “draw a line” through a mole and the two halves do not match (meaning it is asymmetrical) this is a warning sign for melanoma.
The borders of an early melanoma tend to be uneven as opposed to a smooth border.
A mole that has a variety of colours is a warning sign. This includes different shades of brown, tan, black, red, white and blue.
Melanomas usually have a large diameter (as a rough guide 6mm) however if detected early they can be smaller.
If a mole starts to evolve or change in any way, like shape, colour, itch or bleed, this could be a warning sign and you should see your Doctor.
8 WAYS TO AVOID SKIN CANCER
- Examine your skin every month
- See your practitioner for a skin exam every year
- Avoid the sun between 10am and 4pm
- Cover up with clothing including a hat and UV-blocking sunglasses
- Never use tanning beds
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply every 2 hours
- Keep newborn babies out of the sun
- Do not use sunscreen on babies under 6 months of age.
WHAT’S YOUR RISK LEVEL?
Everyone is at risk of skin cancer, however you’re at greater risk if answering yes to any of these questions below:
- Do you have fair skin, fair or red hair and blue eyes?
- Do you have a large number of moles?
- Do you work outdoors?
- Do you spend your weekends or holidays in the sun?
- Have you ever used a solarium, sunlamps and sun beds?
- Is there a previous history of skin cancer is your family?
- As a child, did you spend a lot of time in the sun?