SKIN CHECKS

Spring is a great time to check your skin for any changes. Try to check all over your body using a good light. Ask a family member or friend to check areas that you cannot see easily such as your back and don’t forget the soles of your feet and under your nails.

There are 3 main types of skin cancer – melanomas, squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) and basal cell carcinomas (BCCs). Melanomas are usually pigmented and can result from a new or existing spot, freckle or mole that changes in size, colour or shape. These are the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

SCCs are less dangerous and can appear as red, scaly areas, enlarging lumps or sores that will not heal. If not treated they can spread to other parts of the body. BCCs do not spread but enlarge slowly and can be red or pearly spots or a red area on the skin. Both SCCs and BCCs can ulcerate and bleed.

Sunspots, known as solar keratoses, are a sign of skin damage from the sun. These are often red and can be scaly. These can be treated in a number of ways including ‘freezing’ with liquid nitrogen and creams.

If you have any concerns about your skin, please speak to your doctor. People who have had sunspots or have had a skin cancer should have a regular check of theikin by their doctor.

For more information and photos see: Cancer council spot check fact sheet or Sun Smart poster.