How To Check For Skin Cancer At Home Close Up Skin

How To Check For Skin Cancer At Home Close Up Skin

The skin cancer rate among the Australian population is one of the highest in the world. The Australian weather is largely responsible for this, coupled with the fact that most Australians have fair skin, which is not quite suited to the harsh weather conditions. In addition, Australia is close to the equator. This means that the level of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is very high. Lack of protective pigmentation leaves the cells of fair-skinned Australians vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation’s damaging effects, which causes skin cancer. Early detection is vital, so regular skin self-examination is recommended because skin cancer can be effectively treated if detected early. This article will outline how to check for skin cancer at home and who to see if you notice the appearance of a new spot on your skin or any change in an existing mole or freckle.

How to check for skin cancer at home

You don’t need sophisticated equipment to do skin self-examination at home. All you require are just your eyes and a mirror. However, it is helpful to follow a structured process that will help you check your skin systematically so you don’t miss an early sign of skin cancer.

  1. The examination should be done in a well-lit room. Stand in front of a full-length mirror and work your way from the top of your head down to your legs.
  2. Check your scalp by using a hairbrush to part your hair into sections.
  3. After that, move on to your face, neck, shoulders and upper arms. Remember to check underneath your arms, as cancer can also occur in places that have never seen much sun.
  4. Proceed to examine your chest, abdomen, thighs and legs. If you find examining your back in the mirror challenging, you can seek the assistance of a partner or close family member.

What should you be looking for?

A mnemonic that can help you recognise the early signs of skin cancer is SCAN.
S- Stands for sores. Look for any sore that is itchy, scaly or tender and any sore that bleeds easily and has not healed after six weeks.
C- Stands for changes in the size, shape or colour of an existing skin growth.
A- Stands for an area of skin. Make a note of any area of skin that looks or feels different from the rest.
N- Stands for new growth. Look for any new development or spots on your skin, as many skin cancers begin this way.

How To Check For Skin Cancer At Home Zoomed In Mole

How to interpret your findings

The more features of the above mnemonic you find in a mole or spot on your skin, the more urgently it should be checked by a doctor. It is useful to get familiar with the moles and spots on your skin so that you can quickly detect the appearance of a new mole or abnormal changes in an existing one. A good way of monitoring these changes is to take photographs of existing moles so you can compare them with what they look like in subsequent pictures.

Who to see

It is imperative to get your skin checked by a professional such as a skin cancer doctor or skin cancer clinic if you find anything suspicious during your self-check at home. An accredited skin cancer doctor has undertaken a high level of training with the Skin Cancer College of Australasia, so they have proven skills in diagnosing, treating, and managing skin cancer. They also have various tools and equipment to examine the skin in greater detail than the naked eyes can see. These tools detect early signs of skin cancer and minimise the need for skin biopsies.

How To Check For Skin Cancer At Home Skin Check

Final thoughts on regular at-home skin checks

A comprehensive skin check undertaken at home regularly is vital for the early detection of skin cancer. Because of the high prevalence of skin cancer in Australia, the importance of regular, at-home skin checks cannot be over-emphasised. If anything suspicious is discovered during such checks, it is vital to contact skin cancer specialists like the QC Skin Cancer and Laser Clinic. We provide a comprehensive skin cancer service, and our highly specialised skin care doctors use the most up-to-date technology in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. Call us today on (03) 9764 1662 for more information on how to check for skin cancer at home or to request a consultation without a GP referral

Contact Us
12 St Lawrance Way Rowville
VIC 3178 Melbourne, Australia
Opening Hours


9 am – 6 pm
9 am – 6 pm
9 am – 6 pm
9 am – 6 pm
9 am – 6 pm

Follow Us