What happens during a skin check?
How long does a skin check take?
A skin check can take up to 15 minutes. This includes some time for the doctor to ask you questions about your general health. Make sure you tell the doctor about any spots or moles you have which are Sore, Changing, Abnormal or New. The actual check of your skin can take from 5 to 15 minutes depending on your skin type and the number of moles and spots to be looked at.
What equipment does the doctor use?
Your doctor will use a dermatoscope to have a close up / magnified look at any spots of concern. A dermatoscope is a bit like a torch with a magnifying glass attached to the end. Using a dermatoscope is painless. Sometimes the doctor may take a photograph of a spot or mole so it can be monitored over time for any changes in appearance. We also have video dermoscopsy with Dermegine and total body Photography. We offer total body for monitoring of lesions where indicated.
Do I have to get undressed?
In order to examine the skin thoroughly we need you to undress down to your underwear. The doctors does not generally check beneath your underwear unless you have a particular concern in that region. Please come in with loose fitting clothing that is easy to remove and clean skin as much as possible. Gowns are not provided due to hygiene concerns (you can bring your own if you wish). We have female doctors and a female staff member is available upon request.
What happens if the doctor finds anything which could be skin cancer?
Your doctor will tell you straight away if you have any moles or spots which require testing. To test the mole or spot the doctor will either take a small biopsy (sample) of it, or completely excise (cut out) the spot of concern – under local anaesthetic of course. In most cases another appointment will be made to remove the abnormal mole or spot. This type of minor surgery can be carried out at the clinic. After it is removed, the mole or spot is sent to Our Pathology laboratory for testing. Receiving the test results can take from one to several days, depending on the testing required.
What happens if skin cancer is found?
In most cases, when found early, skin cancer can be easily and successfully treated with surgery. Most skin cancers are cured once they are removed. Other non-surgical treatments such as creams, radiotherapy, or light therapy may be used but this will depend on the type of skin cancer found.
What happens after the skin check?
Depending on your level of risk for developing skin cancer, your doctor may recommend regular follow up skin checks. The frequency for follow up skin checks can vary from every few months, to once every year or two. We have a system in place to send you a skin check reminder, but it is also a good idea to keep your own record of when a follow up skin check is due.
How much does a skin check cost?
We are a Private billing clinic. There may be additional fees for procedures which are not fully covered by Medicare.
Do I need a referral?
Should I have an all over check or just certain Spots?
Some skin cancer detection services offer free spot checks of just one to two moles of concern. While these are better than no checks at all, there is a risk that a suspicious mole may go undetected on another part of your body. What if you’ve spotted the wrong spot? Melanoma is fast growing and the most life threatening of skin cancers – and it’s very difficult to detect with an untrained eye, particularly at its early stages. While we recommend that you regularly self-check your skin at home, most patients aren’t exactly skin cancer experts. Which means that, even if you’ve noticed one mole that concerns you, there’s a risk that you might not see another – potentially more dangerous mole – somewhere else on your body. And therefore you might not get it checked early enough, while it can still be treated.