Check Your Own Skin

It’s vital that you check your own skin to assist with early detection instead of relying solely on your own annual skin check.

What to look for:

Any crusty sores that won’t heal

Small red, pale or pearly lumps

Any new spots, freckles or moles that change in colour, size, shape or thickness over a period of weeks to months

Particularly look for any spots that are dark brown to black, red or blue-black in colour

How often to look

You should check your own skin regularly – every three months to follow the best caution. You should also have your skin checked annually, either with your GP or at one of our skin cancer clinics, or as advised by your Doctor.

How to look

It’s easy to perform the check yourself or with a close family member, partner or friend. You should check your face, neck and ears, scalp, front and back of torso, buttocks, arms, legs, hands, palms, feet, soles, and between fingers and toes, and finger and toe nails. It may help to use a hand-held mirror to help you look in the areas, such as your back and scalp, which you often cannot see.

Who is at risk?

You have a greater risk of developing skin cancer if you have:

  • spent your childhood in Australia
  • a large number of moles
  • ever suffered from sunburn
  • fair skin that burns easily and does not tan
  • blue or green eyes
  • fair or red hair
  • been diagnosed with a melanoma in the past
  • a family history of melanoma