Q. How do I book in for a full body skin check? A. Simply call us on (03) 9044 0100 or Contact Us.
Q. How long does a full body skin check take? A. Please allow approximately 1 hour for your appointment.
Q. Do I need to do anything to prepare for my appointment? A. Yes. We ask you to go over your entire body carefully, noting any new or suspicious-looking moles or concerns you may have. We would also like to know about your patient history which includes any past family history of skin conditions or cancers. Please also ensure that all make up and nail varnish is removed prior to your appointment and don’t forget to bring your Medicare card and any other valid pension cards with you on the day.
Q. Do you manage other sorts of skin conditions and diseases? A. Yes. As we are a medical clinic, our experienced team of medical practitioners can help you with anything that concerns you, whether it be a skin condition or your general health and wellbeing, we are happy to assist you. Epichealth takes a proactive approach to health and partners with you to achieve all your health and wellbeing goals.
Q. Who’s mainly at risk of developing skin cancer? A. Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world and unfortunately, skin cancer does not discriminate whether male or female, an adult or child. There are certain risk factors that can influence your chances of developing a skin cancer eg. if you work or play outside or have ever been sunburnt. The best cure is prevention so we encourage you to get educated on the best ways to help protect yourself and get checked.
Q. As an employer, what action should I take to help reduce the risk of sun related injury? A. The workplace is a major source of exposure for many adult Australians. It is not surprising that outdoor workers who are required to spend long periods of time working in the sun, year after year, have a higher than average risk of developing skin cancer. Under the Australian occupational health and safety legislation, employers should be considering steps to reduce the risk and protect employees from ongoing exposure to solar UVR that can lead to skin cancer. Working with us at Moletrack Skin Clinic will help you to implement a comprehensive sun protection program in your workplace. This will include a range of simple measures that can prevent sun-related injuries and reduce the suffering and costs associated with skin cancer to your business – including reduced productivity, morale and financial returns.
Q. Do you provide support and treatment for skin ailments on site? A. Yes. As we are a medical clinic, our experienced team of medical practitioners can do most investigation and treatment methods onsite. In circumstances where specialist expertise is required, eg. cosmetic work on delicate facial areas, we will discuss referral options with you as required.
Q. What is skin cancer? A. In summary, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Australia. Skin cancer is a disease of the body’s skin cells caused mainly by cumulative exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun. Cancer is a group of diseases in which cells are aggressive (grow and divide without respect to normal limits), invasive (invade and destroy adjacent tissues), and sometimes metastatic (spread to other locations in the body). Skin cancer is normally divided into two categories: melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
Q. What is non-melanoma skin cancer? A. There are two main types of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC): basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). BCC is the most common form of skin cancer. It usually develops as a small, round, raised, red, pale or pearly-coloured spot, and it may become ulcerated like a sore that will not heal. SCC is the second most common form of skin cancer. It normally appears as a thickened red, scaly spot that may later bleed easily or ulcerate. Both types of NMSC mainly develop on areas of the body that are exposed to ultraviolet radiation and are usually able to be treated if detected early.
Q. What is melanoma skin cancer? A. Melanoma is the least common form of skin cancer, but the most deadly. If left untreated, melanoma can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma appears as a new or existing spot, freckle or mole that changes in colour, size or shape. A melanoma usually has an irregular or smudgy outline and can be more than one colour. A melanoma can grow over weeks to months, and can appear anywhere on the body, including areas of the body that aren’t exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
Q. What is ultraviolet radiation? A. Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is:
- Is the part of sunlight which causes sunburn and skin damage leading to premature aging and skin cancer. Damage to the skin occurs as soon as skin is exposed to UVR. Sunburn is the extreme form of this damage. The effects of UVR on the skin are cumulative so the damage is building up even without burning.
- Cannot be felt or seen. It is not related to, or indicated by, heat, high temperatures or light, and therefore can be present even on a cloudy day. Light-coloured and shiny surfaces, such as sand, snow, concrete and water, all reflect UVR.
- Intensity can be measured by the Ultraviolet (UV) Index – the higher the Index value, the greater the potential for damage to your skin and risk of developing skin cancer. The UV Alert, which is issued when the UV Index forecast reaches 3 or higher, shows the time of the day when it is essential to protect yourself and can assist you in taking action to minimise your exposure to the sun’s rays.
The daily UV Index forecast and UV Alert can be found in the weather pages of local papers and on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency websites.
Q. What are the main risk factors for skin cancer? A. Anyone in Australia can develop skin cancer but the risk is increased for people who:
- Are exposed to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) during childhood and adolescence.
- Have repeated exposure to UVR over their lifetime.
- Have episodes of severe sunburn.
- Have a light complexion (red or fair hair; blue or green eyes; skin that burns easily, freckles and doesn’t tan).
- Are older.
- Have a had a previous non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC).
- Have a personal or family history of melanoma.
- Have a large number of moles.
- Have unusual types of moles (eg dysplastic naevus).
- Are immunosuppressed (including organ transplant recipients).
Q. Is is possible to develop skin cancer if your skin does not burn? A. Yes. Anyone can develop skin cancer regardless of whether or not their skin burns. Although people with fair skin are at a greater risk of developing skin cancer, people with tanned skin are also at risk of developing skin cancer if they do not protect their skin when going outdoors.
Q. Does a tan provide protection against developing skin cancer? A. No. Any form of a tan which has been obtained from exposure to UVR (from natural or artificial sources) increases your chances of premature ageing and developing skin cancer. People with naturally tanned or darker skin have very limited protection to UVR (roughly equivalent to SPF2 sunscreen) and will still need to protect their skin when going outdoors. Fake tanning products do not offer protection against the risk of developing skin cancer. Some fake tanning products do contain sunscreen, but at most, this will only offer protection for a few hours after application of the product.
Q. Is it possible to safely obtain a tan from exposure to ultraviolet radiation? A. No. Any form of a tan from UVR (whether from the sun or artificial devices such as solaria) will damage your skin and increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
Q. Are solariums or sunbeds a safe way to tan? A. No. Solariums and sunbeds emit UVR and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Go to the Australian Government Department of Health – Solariums Fact Sheet for more information.
Q. Do you only need to protect yourself from the sun when its hot and sunny? A. No. UVR, which causes sunburn and skin damage, cannot be felt or seen. It is not related to, or indicated by heat, high temperatures or light, and therefore can be present days when it is not hot and sunny (such as cloudy, hazy or breezy days).
Q. Can you only be harmed by sun during the middle of the day? A. No. You can be harmed by the sun anytime during the day (especially when the UVR is high). In general, the most dangerous times to be out in the sun are 10am – 2pm (or 11am – 3pm during daylight savings), when the UVR level is at its highest.
Q. How much sun exposure is required to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D? A. It has been estimated that fair skinned people can achieve adequate vitamin D levels in summer by exposing the face, arms and hands or the equivalent area of skin to a few minutes of sunlight on either side of the peak UV periods on most days of the week. In winter, in the southern regions of Australia where UV radiation levels are less intense, maintenance of vitamin D levels may require 2-3 hours of sunlight exposure to the face, arms and hands or equivalent area of skin over a week 1. It is important to be adequately protected from the sun, whenever the UV Index is 3 or more and particularly during peak UVR times.
More information on Vitamin D and sun exposure can be found on the Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society website.