Do I need to have a skin check?

The following increase your chance of developing Skin Cancer:

  • Either you personally or a  family member has had a skin cancer treated.

  • You are an outdoors worker or you have been in the past. 

  • You participate in outdoor sport such as cricket, golf, horseriding, bicycling, running, or swimming

  • You have been sunburned in the past, particularly as a child

  • You have used tan accelerators such as coconut oil, olive oil or reef oil.

  • You have used a solarium before, especially in your teens or twenties. 

  • You have more than 12 moles on either arm or more than 50 over your body. 

  • You have the type of skin that burns easily. ie Fair skin


At what age should I have my first skin check?

Generally we should have annual skin checks from about age 16 (however if there is a strong family risk of Melanoma or you have multiple (>50) moles present on your body then age 10 is recommended). 

What happens in a full skin check? 

When you attend for your appointment with Caton Medical for a full skin check the following occurs:

  1. You are greeted by one of our reception team, and if it is the first time you have seen us then you will be asked to fill in 2 forms, one for your personal details and the second about your health. (if you are a return patient then the reception staff will confirm your details (to make sure there have been no changes since last time).

  2. If you are booked for a Dermoscan then the nursing staff will do this prior to you seeing the doctor.

  3. When the doctor is ready he/she will call you into his / her consult room. 

  4. The doctor will ask you a series of questions relating to your risk of skin cancer and any spots you are particularly concerned with. 

  5. He / she will then ask you to undress to underwear so the examination can take place (if you wish a chaperone, this can be arranged).  

  6. The doctor will then perform his/her examination, using a dermatoscope to look at individual lesions (spots). 

  7. He / She may take photos as they go - and discuss these with you at the end. We are using Dermengine to catalogue our photos. 

  8. He / She may use liquid nitrogen (Cryotherapy) as they go on areas of solar damage (Solar or actinic keratoses).

  9. In addition to checking all skin surfaces the doctor will also check in your mouth / check your 'glands' (lymph nodes) in your neck, under your arms and in your groin for signs of skin cancer.

  10. At the conclusion he/she will ask you to get dressed and invite you to sit and discuss the findings and any planned treatment or follow up.

What if I just have 1 or 2 spots I'm worried about? 

  • If you only have 1 or 2 spots you are concerned about we can book you in for a 'spot check' appointment. We run these in clinics and in between our other work. 

  • These normally take 10minutes or so and we look at a maximum of 4 spots.

  • We may take photos if clinically relevant.

  • We will discuss management of the spots that concern you within the consult.

What if the doctor finds something? 

  • If the doctor finds something, then photos may be taken.

  • The doctor will discuss management of any lesions of concern within the consult.

  • Management may include one or more of the following:

    • Monitoring - in which case a review appointment will be made

    • Topical creams - these vary in treatment length from a few days to 2-3 months.

    • Cryotherapy

    • Surgical excision - may initially be for diagnosis, rather than cure. This will be explained to you at the time.

  • Our treatments are carried out in our Brookong Avenue rooms, or the Riverina Day Surgery

How often should I have a skin check? 

  • We recommend a full skin check and Dermoscan for all of our patients on an annual basis. 

  • Our higher risk patients may need a skin check as often as every 3months, with a dermoscan every 6 months as well. Your doctor will discuss this with you.