About Getting a Skin Check
After filling in a questionnaire regarding contact details and skin cancer risk factors, we will chat about any concerns you might have regarding skin cancer or the visit. A nurse and or doctor will do a full skin check. The skin check procedure takes 45 to 60 minutes to complete.
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Get a Skin Check
After filling in a questionnaire regarding contact details and skin cancer risk factors, we will chat about any concerns you might have regarding skin cancer or the visit. Then with the assistance of a nurse who will be present during the whole examination we 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 dermascope. This instrument in the right hands can improve accuracy of skin cancer diagnoses by about 30%. I might want to take photos of specific lesions to record these for your record and for 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 the cancer grow. This is why skin checks are advised when many other ways of screening for skin cancer has been questioned. About 50% of people will pick up the own skin cancers when they do self-skin checks. This is important to do but it does not replace regular skin checks done by a trained health professional. This is because the extra training and health technology will result in skin cancers being diagnosed up at an earlier stage. Finding skin cancers earlier will mean that these cancers are more likely more 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 in a way that leaves 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 will examination on a larger screen and comparison of 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 in order to find in 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.

Dermoscopy and finding Skin Cancers

Skin cancers are unique amongst all cancers, in that we can see the cancer grow. About 50% of people will pick up their own skin cancers when they do self-skin checks. This is important to do, but it does not replace regular skin checks done by a trained health professional. This is because the extra training in dermoscopy will result in skin cancers being diagnosed at an earlier stage. Finding skin cancers earlier will mean that these cancers are more likely to be more 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 in a way that leaves the patient feeling comfortable and respected. 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 of a baseline set of photographs in order to find any new or changing skin spots. The importance of dermoscopy in the diagnosis of skin cancers has clearly been recognized in the medical world. It is a non-invasive processes performed with a handheld instrument called a dermatoscope. This instrument illuminates and enlarges one’s view of the skin. The cross polarisation of light enables the user to see structures in the epidermis and deeper layers of the skin that are usually not visible to the naked eye. The dermoscopic view can be easily photographed and digitally stored for sequential monitoring. In the hands of a person trained and experienced in the use of Dermoscopy, diagnosis of skin cancer can be improved by 20-30%. Sensitivity (also called the true positive rate) measures the proportion of possible skin cancers that are correctly identified as cancerous. Specificity (also called the true negative rate) measures the proportion of non-cancerous lesions that are correctly identified as not being malignant. For dermoscopy and clinical examination sensitivity was 90 percent (95% CI 80-95) and the specificity was 90 percent (95% CI 57-98). For naked eye examination alone, sensitivity was 71 percent (95% CI 59-82) and specificity was 81 percent (95% CI 48-95). Experience and training of the examiner affects the diagnostic performance. Dermoscopy requires formal training to be effectively practised. Typically, this would be a certificate or diploma from a medical college. Individuals with limited training and experience using dermoscopy have been shown to have a poorer diagnostic accuracy than untrained clinicians using naked-eye examination emphasising the need for formal training. It is beneficial to examine as many spots as possible during skin checks. All practitioners at Skinspots hold a minimum of a diploma in dermoscopy before qualifying to undertake a skin check.

Call us

Free Phone 0800 776 877

Tauranga local calling - 5743 799

Call us for an appointment to get your skin cancer check at the Skinspots Skin Cancer Clinic in Mount Maunganui. We are open Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm.