Frequently asked questions

What if the examination tells me I might have skin cancer?

Our doctors will discuss the outcome of your examination and give their recommendation on the best form of treatment for you. They have many, many hours of experience in treating and removing potentially dangerous moles and skin lesions. Rest assured, you are in trusted hands.

We will discuss the proposed treatment option with you. This will include the type of procedure or treatment needed, the cost involved, expected outcomes and potential complications. After this, together we come up with a plan that provides the best health outcomes for you.

What’s a “normal” mole?

Moles are often referred to by clinicians as skin lesions. Other common skin lesions are freckles and skin tags. Skin lesions are benign (non-cancerous). It is quite normal to have between 10-40 moles by the time a person reaches adulthood. Moles can appear at birth, or develop at any age up to 30.

Some moles remain the same throughout a person’s life, while others may even disappear over time. Moles can also change in appearance over time. They can grow in size, change colour, become raised from the skin or change shape. Moles can change over time and develop into melanoma, with a higher chance of this in those that have been on the skin since birth. Melanoma can be difficult to detect. If you have any concerns about your moles or freckles or you would like a mole or skin tag removed for cosmetic reasons, our specialist skin doctors can help.

What is dermatoscopy?

Dermatoscopy has superseded other forms of mole mapping. This method follows Australasian guidelines and is recommended by the Skin Cancer College of Australasia.

Why do I first need a full skin assessment?

We must first diagnose the skin lesion so we can recommend the most appropriate treatment.

What will happen during my appointment?

Any treatment being proposed will be discussed with you. This will include the type of procedure, cost, complications, expected outcome and aftercare.

If a surgical option is available, we will discuss the type of excision and cost with you, together with other options.

The best treatment option will be determined for you. This will take into account any other medical condition that you may have, medications, social supports, follow up, and/or infection/bleeding risk.

You will be given a full assessment of your risk of skin cancer and appropriate follow up investigations. Diagnostic aides will be used in the consult.

What do the treatments involve?

Our more common treatments are explained below.

Punch biopsy

This is a very simple surgical procedure that involves removal of a small piece of skin. The sample taken is then sent to the laboratory for further testing and diagnosis. A result is usually available 1-2 weeks after the sample has been taken. If the results are abnormal, the Upper Hutt Skin Clinic will advise you of this.

Surgical excision

A range of simple to complex excisions are available, depending on your treatment required.

Cosmetic mole removal

Our Skin Clinic doctors use Surgitron to remove benign skin growths using radiowave ablation technology. No suturing is required and there is minimal scarring. Surgitron can be a suitable treatment for: skin tags, seborrheic keratoses, solar keratoses, melanosis, milia, warts, benign moles and vascular lesions such as cherry angiomas.

Topical skin cancer treatments

There are a range of non-invasive topical treatments which may be prescribed for you. These include topical creams, allmedic skin products and PDT.

Why can the Doctor be late and I can’t?

Cases can go over time as unexpected things may need to be dealt with.

If the patient is late, it can cause the rest of the consults to run late and this results in frustration for all.

What do I do if I cannot make my appointment?

Please contact us as soon as possible to reschedule. If you cancel within one hour of your appointment, you may still be charged.

Who will perform my procedure?

All our procedures are performed by Upper Hutt Skin Clinic doctors and nurses who have received advanced training in skin care management.

Is your centre accessible for the sight, speech or hearing impaired?

We accommodate sight, speech and hearing impaired patients. If you require any further assistance please contact us in advance of your appointment and we will do everything we can to help.

Does your site have sufficient access for wheelchairs?

Yes, we do. There are some wheelchairs available for use if required.

Can I claim the cost of my procedure?

If you have a Community Services Card, your surgery may be covered. Please ask when booking your appointment.

If you are a Southern Cross member, enquire about easy-claim.