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Skin Checks
on the Central Coast

Doctor Using Magnifying Glass — Skin Doctor in Woy Woy, NSW
Doctor Using Magnifying Glass — Skin Doctor in Woy Woy, NSW

Detection & Diagnosis

When it comes to skin cancer management, early detection is key. That is why at The Skin Cancer Centre, we encourage regular self-examinations using a practical guide from SunSmart Victoria that emphasizes:
  • Becoming familiar with one’s own skin.
  • Regularly checking all areas of the skin, even those that are not regularly exposed to the sun.
  • Looking for new spots on the skin, including changes in their shape, colour or size.
  • Immediately checking with a doctor for any skin-related concerns.
Mole In Cheeks — Skin Doctor in Woy Woy, NSW

Moles

One of the things you’ll need to look at during self-examinations is moles. To find out if a mole is abnormal, look for 5 important signs using the acronym ABCDE:
  • A for asymmetry or when one half of a birthmark or mole is significantly different than the other.
  • B for border, where the mole’s edges are blurred, notched, ragged or irregular.
  • C for colour or uneven shades, which include blue, white, red, pink, black or brown.
  • D for diameter, particularly if the mole is bigger than 6mm.
  • E for evolving or changing colour, shape or size.
Unsure if your mole is abnormal? Come visit our centre and we’ll perform skin checks for early detection and treatment of possible skin cancers like Melanoma.

Skin Type

When performing skin checks, we take into consideration your skin type, which can fall under the following:
  • Type 1 – Exceedingly sensitive to the sun, gets easily sunburned and doesn't tan.
  • Type 2 – High sunlight sensitivity, easily sunburned and tans slightly.
  • Type 3 – Slightly sensitive to sunlight, occasionally gets sunburned and always gets a light brown tan.
  • Type 4 – Low sensitivity to sunlight with minimal sunburns and moderate brown tan.
  • Type 5 – Not sensitive to the sun, hardly ever gets sunburned, and tans nicely.
  • Type 6 – Insensitive to sunlight, doesn’t sunburn and deeply pigmented.
With skin type 1 or 2, you need to vigorously protect your skin from the sun. We also recommend getting regular skin checks to identify treat early significant skin issues.
If you have type 3, 4, or 5 skin, your skin is less susceptible to skin cancer. However, do not take this for granted. We recommend regular use of sun-protection products, especially when the UV Index is 3 or higher.
While having type 6 skin gives you the most natural UV protection, we still encourage regular skin protection against excessive sunlight.

Skin Cancer Risk Assessment

How often should you perform self-examinations and go for skin checks with our doctors? The following are guidelines that can help you assess your own risk and act accordingly.

High Risk

You’re at high risk for skin cancer if you have or had:
  • Red hair
  • Type 1 skin & over 45 years old
  • Type 2 skin & over 65 years old
  • Family history of melanoma up to first-degree relatives & over 15 years old
  • Over 100 birthmarks or moles, more than 10 that are atypical or unusual looking
  • A history of melanoma
  • Non-melanoma skin cancer in the past or over 20 rough and scaly patches of sun-exposed skin
As a high-risk person, we recommend performing 3 monthly self-examinations and 12 monthly checks at our centre.

Medium Risk

Having the following puts you at medium risk for cancerous skin conditions:
  • Blue eyes
  • Type 1 skin & between ages 25 to 45
  • Type 2 skin & aged 45 to 65
  • Type 3 skin & older than 65 years
  • Solar keratosis family history
  • Solar keratosis personal history
  • Multiple sunburns in the past
To manage your skin cancer risks accordingly, perform 3 to 6 monthly self-checks and have 2 to 5 annual skin checks at our centre.

Low Risk

Your risks for skin cancer may be considered low if the following characteristics apply to you:
  • Type 1 skin & younger than 25 years
  • Type 2 skin & less than 45 years
  • Type 3 skin & below 65 years
  • Type 4 & 5 skin
Because of minimal risk for skin cancer, you only need to have one skin examination with any of our doctors and perform a self-examination annually.