How to Check Your Own Skin

“2 in 3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. Early detection through skin self-examination potentially reduces the risk of advanced melanoma by 63% through early detection of thinner lesions.”*

What to look for:

  • any crusty sores that won’t heal
  • small red, pale or pearly lumps
  • any new spots, freckles or moles that change in colour, size, shape or thickness over a period of weeks to months
  • particularly look for any spots that are dark brown to black, red or blue-black in colour

How often to look:

  • you should check your own skin every three months

How to look:

  • remember to check, your face, neck and ears, scalp, front and back of torso, buttocks, arms, legs, hands, palms, feet, soles, and between fingers and toes and finger and toe nails
  • it may help to use a hand held mirror
  • you may also like to ask your partner or a person you trust to help you look in areas such as your back and scalp which you often cannot see

Check Your Own Skin - Diagram 1 Check Your Own Skin - Diagram 2 Check Your Own Skin - Diagram 3 Check Your Own Skin - Diagram 4 Check Your Own Skin - Diagram 5

Who is at risk?

You have a greater risk of developing skin cancer if you have:

  • spent your childhood in Australia
  • a large number of moles
  • ever suffered from sunburn
  • fair skin that burns easily and does not tan
  • blue or green eyes
  • fair or red hair
  • been diagnosed with a melanoma in the past
  • a family history of melanoma

 

*Source: http://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/types-of-cancer/skin-cancer.html