By GP and Skin Expert, Dr Sachin Deshmukh
At this time of year, it is important to tick the right boxes in regards to your skin.
During the months of September to April, most Victorians need just a few minutes of mid-morning or mid-afternoon sun exposure for their vitamin D needs.
Here are some of my responses to common questions about your skin:
What is a skin check?
- In our skin checks, we assess your skin for any abnormal changes – on moles that you have already identified, or others you may not be aware of.
- We identify which moles we will need to watch, which are benign and can be left, and those that may need removal
What is mole mapping?
- Part of our skin check – we document locations and size of moles, for us to track any changes
- We also encourage you to use a mobile phone app – called “miiskin” to take images of moles and report back to us during consultations
What if I have a melanoma?
- If we identify a melanoma (or what we feel may be a melanoma), we remove the lesion – and it is sent off to pathology.
- We remove many melanomas – the entire purpose of skin checks is to find these and remove them
How often should I get a skin check?
- Every 3–6 months if you have many moles
- Every 12 months if you have few moles
- OR if you notice any change or are concerned about a mole – see your GP as soon as possible
How much sun is enough?
- The Sun is an important source of vitamin D for us
- In the September to April period, you should always have sunscreen, hat, sunglasses on – and avoid being in the sun during the midday period where possible
- We require just a few minutes of mid-morning or mid-afternoon sun during September to April
- In May to August, it is encouraged to be outdoors around midday, with some skin uncovered