Mole mapping and Skin checks
Get a Skin Check
After filling in a questionnaire regarding contact details and skin cancer risk factors, we will chat with you about any concerns you might have regarding skin cancer or the visit. Then with the assistance of a nurse or healthcare assistant, who will be present during the whole examination our Dermoscopist will do a skin check. This is done with the patient wearing as little clothing as possible (normally your underwear only) to have good visibility and access to your skin. First, your skin will be examined. Suspicious lesions will then be examined using a Dermatoscope. This instrument in the right hands can improve the accuracy of skin cancer diagnoses by about 30%. We might want to take photos of specific lesions to record these for your record and future comparison. Overview photos are important to document where dermoscopic photos have been taken.
More on Skin Checks
Skin cancers are unique amongst all cancers in that we can see cancer grow. About 50% of people will pick up their own skin cancers while doing their own skin checks. This is important, but it does not replace regular skin checks by a trained health professional. This extra training and health technology will result in skin cancers being diagnosed at an early stage. Finding skin cancers earlier will mean that these cancers are more likely to be curable. Clinical examination of the patient’s skin by an experienced and well-trained health professional forms the core of any skin check. A full skin check will always involve checking all skin areas, and this should be done to leave the patient feeling comfortable and respected. There are important adjunct technologies that clinicians use to improve their ability to diagnose skin cancers. The first is using a Dermatoscope. This instrument allows one to examine the skin lesion under magnification with bright light but without the normal reflectance of the light on the skin. Combining this instrument with a digital camera allows one to take high-resolution digital photographs of these lesions with examination on a larger screen and compare these lesions over time. This is commonly referred to as mole mapping. One of the most useful technologies is to have the ability to take full-body photos of different sections of the patient’s skin. This allows future comparisons to a baseline set of photographs to find new or changing skin spots. There are a variety of providers offering variable combinations of all these techniques. At Skinspots Skin Cancer clinic, we offer all the above techniques as part of our standard full skin check.