Take Control of Your Skin Health: Get Skin Checks with Yarra Medical
Dr Ed Skinner is currently working 5 days a week at Yarra Medical, The Hive, Abbotsford. Qualified and experienced in the area of skin checks and skin surgery, he knows what steps Australians need to take to look after their skin health.
Skin cancer is a major concern in Australia. Quite simply, we have the highest rate of melanoma in the world. According to the Cancer Council Australia, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. In 2020, it was estimated that there were over 1 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer and over 13,000 cases of melanoma diagnosed in Australia.
Such rates are no doubt due to our climate and our sun-worshipping culture, but that doesn’t make skin cancer inevitable. As a GP who regularly performs skin checks and skin cancer surgery, I see first-hand that many of us can be doing more to look after our skin. The ability to avoid skin cancer lies to a large degree in our own hands, and here’s what we should be doing.
Skin checks are the first step
Skin cancer checks are important because they help detect skin cancer in its early stages, when it is most treatable. Early detection can greatly increase the chances of a successful outcome and reduce the need for extensive and potentially disfiguring treatments. Regular skin cancer checks with a GP can also help people learn about potential risk factors and ways to reduce their risk of skin cancer.
Additionally, skin cancer checks can help individuals develop a baseline understanding of their skin, allowing them to more easily identify changes or potential problems in the future. Overall, skin cancer checks are a simple and effective way to protect one’s health and potentially save lives.
How does mole mapping help?
Mole mapping is a dermatological imaging technique used to monitor the changes in moles over time. During the process, high-resolution photographs of all moles on the body are taken and recorded in a database. These photographs are then used to monitor any changes or growth in the moles over time.
The benefits of mole mapping include increased accuracy in detecting potential skin cancers, earlier detection of skin cancer, and a decrease in the need for biopsies. Mole mapping also helps in tracking the growth of moles and detecting changes that may indicate the development of skin cancer, allowing for prompt treatment and potentially increasing the chances of a successful outcome.
A GPs role in your skin health
GPs play a critical role in protecting the skin health of their patients by providing regular skin checks and monitoring for any changes or abnormalities. During a skin exam, we’ll thoroughly examine all areas of the skin, including hard-to-see areas, and look for any changes in moles or spots, including size, shape, colour and texture. If a suspicious lesion is detected, we may perform a biopsy or refer you to a dermatologist for further evaluation and treatment.
We can also provide education on skin cancer prevention and sun safety, including the use of sun protection measures and the dangers of excessive UV exposure. GPs can also help patients understand their personal risk factors and develop a skin cancer screening plan tailored to their individual needs.
What happens if we find something during skin checks?
Obviously, it depends. As mentioned above, we might refer you to a dermatologist or suggest a biopsy for further information. At Yarra Medical, we always try to make the experience for our patients as convenient as possible. I am fully qualified and experienced in skin cancer surgery, regularly removing lumps, bumps, cysts, warts – even ingrown toenails.
Our patients are reassured by the knowledge that they can be diagnosed and treated in the one place, often by the one doctor. It also gives us the opportunity to develop a relationship with you and help you get to know your skin better. While it’s great if we can examine your skin every six months, it’s even better if you can do it every day, knowing what to look for and which changes are meaningful.
We do have a problem with skin cancer in Australia, but our efforts at prevention can be better. The first step – a skin check with your GP. So don’t wait; book in today with Yarra Medical.