Skip to main content

What happens during a skin check?

Prior to your initial skin check please look at your skin, scalp and private areas and note anything of particular concern that you may wish to mention to your doctor. Please do not wear any makeup, artificial tanner or hand or toe nail polish to your appointment. This is so your doctor has a clear and unobstructed view of your skin.

During a skin check your doctor will ask you to undress down to your undergarments. You will be asked to lie or sit on the examination couch and the doctor will examine your skin using a Dermatoscope, which allows the doctor to see the patterns within the mole or lesion of concern with a remarkable amount of detail. Several studies have shown that doctors trained in the use of Dermoscopy have a high degree of accuracy in detecting skin cancers. If you know there is a mole or lesion that the doctor may not have seen (perhaps under the underwear) you should let them know so they can examine this also.

Any lesion which appears to be suspicious will be noted. The doctor will then discuss with you what type of biopsy is needed. This could be a representative biopsy (where a part of the lesion is removed and sent for pathological examination) or complete excision (where the whole  lesion is removed and sent for analysis). Some moles require only observation, which may involve the use of digital photography to monitor the mole.