It is important you check yourself regularly for any moles or skin patches that have appeared or changed over time.
How to do a self-check of your skin
Look over your entire body regularly. Skin cancers can be in places you can’t see yourself, so you may need to ask someone to help you check.
Remember to check in places that are hard to see or might not normally get exposed to the sun, such as:
- your armpits
- behind your ears
- your scalp
- the bottom of your feet
- your fingernails and toenails.
If you don’t have someone who can check these awkward places for you, try using a hand mirror.
It’s a good idea to keep track of how spots and moles look so you know if they have changed since you last checked your skin.
If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor and show them what is worrying you.
Check your skin often enough so it becomes a regular habit.
Melanoma NZ has developed a video that shows you how to check your skin.
Source: Melanoma NZ
See your doctor as soon as possible if you:
- see or feel something that’s new on your skin
- see or feel something that’s different from other moles
- notice a mole that’s changed from the last time you checked – this could include a change in the colour, shape or size, or if it is bleeding or itchy.
Some skin cancers can spread very quickly, so noticing a change in your skin quickly (early detection) means that it’s more likely to be treated successfully.