Skin cancers can often develop silently and painlessly. Changes in the appearance of a mole, or the development of a new lesion, may be the only symptoms of cancer until it's well advanced. Experts recommend that individuals perform their own, top-to-toe skin check every three months. In addition, an annual skin clinic cancer check is recommended every year. If you are a person who's particularly vulnerable to skin cancer (for example someone with very fair skin, a history of severe sunburn, a regular sunbed user or similar), more frequent skin cancer clinic checkups are recommended. If you notice an abnormal change in a mole, a new lesion or any other suspicious developments, do not wait for a scheduled check: contact your medical provider for an urgent appointment to get the lesion checked professionally.
How do I book a skin check?
Skin checks are usually fairly easily booked, simply by contacting your preferred medical provider or skin cancer check clinic, and requesting an appointment. At the time of booking, or prior to the skin check, you will usually be asked a few key details, including:
- Contact information.
- How long since your last skin check.
- Any history of skin cancer.
- Any risk factors.
There is no need to wait until you have a suspicious lesion before booking an appointment for a skin check.
What happens in a skin check?
An experienced dermatologist, doctor, or other suitably qualified medical professional will examine your skin from top-to-toe, looking for any evidence of abnormal skin cells. This will include the soles of the feet, and the scalp. The dermatologist may use a light to view the skin more clearly, or a dermatoscope, which provides magnification. If a mole or other skin lesion looks suspicious, the dermatologist may suggest a "watchful waiting" approach, or may take a skin biopsy to be sent away for analysis (or even excise the lesion altogether). If you have any lesions you are concerned about, or if you have noticed any change in any of your moles, freckles or birthmarks, it's important to let the dermatologist know at your skin check clinic appointment.
When should you get a skin check?
Regular skin checks by a professional should be carried out annually. Self-checks should be carried out every three months. These should take place even if you don't see anything suspicious. In addition, if you notice any unusual changes to your skin, it's important to request a skin check as a matter of importance. Use the ABCDE skin checklist to see if a visit to a skin check clinic near me is required.
- Asymmetric moles or freckles.
- Border that's not clearly defined - the edges may taper off or appear diffuse.
- Colour - cancerous lesions tend to be multi-coloured, rather than of uniform appearance.
- Diameter - spots which are growing bigger may be cause for concern.
- Evolving - if a lesion is changing shape, size, or appearance, this is a sign that a skin check is needed.
Remember that many lesions that exhibit one or more of these change aren't cancerous. Also, early detection and fast treatment are the best ways of treating skin cancer.
Are skin checks covered by insurance?
If you're planning to use skin cancer check clinics Melbourne residents can access easily, you'll be pleased to know that an annual skin check is usually wholly or partly covered by insurance. Medicare usually covers the cost of a skin check. For patients who are concerned about possible costs associated with a skin check South Melbourne practitioners offer, it's worth checking with your insurer first, to establish your level of cover.
How long does a skin check take?
If you want to know how long you'll be at the skin check clinic Melbourne patients use for routine skin checks, the answer is usually between twenty minutes and half-an-hour. If you have many lesions that require extensive scrutiny or have a lesion that you're concerned about, the check may take slightly longer, whilst the dermatologist has a closer look. For people with a tight schedule, or who want a more accurate time estimate, it may be worth finding a skin cancer check clinic near me and asking them how long their skin check appointments last.
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