How well do you know your skin? You might be well acquainted with your face in the mirror, but what about the soles of your feet, the back of your ears or the top of your scalp?
More than likely they’re not places you look often, if you can see them at all.
It’s just one reason it’s important to have a professional skin check with an expert that can take a thorough look at your skin, especially in places you can’t, to ensure there are no abnormal moles or lesions of concern that could be skin cancer.
The second reason is that not many people feel they could confidently determine any concerning signs or changes in their skin even if they could see the area, or know how to identify melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer and one that’s prevalent in New Zealand. Some types of skin cancer can be very hard to recognise, as they can sometimes look like dry and scaly patches, rather than an obvious spot or mole.
Local skin experts
With almost 90,000 people diagnosed with some form of skin cancer in New Zealand every year and more than 300 Kiwis dying from Melanoma annually, it’s not a topic you should brush off or leave until you ‘get around to’ thinking about it.
With many of us having childhoods or a current lifestyle with extensive time spent in the sun, the damage can already be done. Even if you are careful with UV exposure, sunscreen and covering up it’s important to get a good baseline knowledge of your skin as there is still the chance for problems to occur.
It’s important to know that skin cancer doesn’t discriminate. While people with a family history of skin cancer, a weakened immune system, fair skin and freckles, and multiple or unusual moles face a higher skin cancer risk, it can affect all types of people, men and women, across all ages, skin colours and types, ethnicities and communities.
It can be daunting to consider, but the most important thing is to take action, rather than be consumed with worry, but do nothing. Early detection is crucial.
Skin Institute is a group of 12 clinics around the country that offer exceptional knowledge and care when it comes to the health and appearance of skin. Established in Takapuna in 1994 by renowned clinical dermatologist Dr Mark Gray, the team across the country now includes a range of medical professionals with expertise in skin cancer, veins, appearance medicine, dermatology and cosmetic surgery, and offers the top treatments in these categories.
Wholly NZ-owned and operated, they are the leaders not only in skin cancer detection, but full diagnosis and treatment, including world-class surgical techniques if required.
Caring for New Zealanders’ skin health for over 28 years, the staff are highly trained and have extensive understanding of the impact of those outdoorsy, Kiwi lifestyles have on our skin.
They make taking that step, booking that appointment and addressing any issues a little easier, with a wealth of knowledge and empathy that helps to provide the best care possible.
What is a skin check?
A skin check is a visit to a skin expert who will assess your skin with their own eyes and sometimes with a dermatoscope tool for closer examination and look for any areas of concern. If any are identified you may be recommended to see a specialist and/or have the area or mole removed with a biopsy carried out to gain more information.
You can book a full body skin cancer consultation with Skin Institute’s expert team of Nurse Dermoscopists or Skin Cancer Doctors who have been specially trained in the detection of skin cancer.
Skin Institute’s website has a range of general advice and information about skin cancer and the treatments available, as well as other skin and appearance related treatments.
To book a skin check at one of Skin Institute’s 12 clinics, visit skininstitute.co.nz.