Your guide to skin checks
Self-check at home and stay skin-safe all year round
Get to know your skin and learn what you need to look for.
Regularly self-checking your skin can help you identify the signs of skin cancer and can maximise the chances of detecting skin cancer early. The first sign of a skin cancer can be a new spot, or an existing freckle or mole changing size, shape or colour over weeks or months.
Get to know your skin and what’s normal for you to help you find changes earlier. If you notice any sore, changing, abnormal or new spots during your self-check, have it checked by a GP straight away.
In addition to self-checking regularly, it is also important to get a professional skin check annually by your GP, dermatologist or a skin cancer clinic.
The Skin Cancer College of Australasia recommends that once a month you “SCAN” your skin looking for spots or moles that are:
Ugly ducklings: most moles and spots on your body are the same or are similar-looking to each other. Compare your spots with other spots on your body. If any mole or spot stands out or looks noticeably different from that of surrounding spots, it is the “Ugly Duckling”, and should be checked.
Here are some steps to help you and your family keep an eye on your spots so you can stay skin-safe all year round.
Visit the Cancer Council for more skin-safe tips.
In addition to regular checks at home, you should visit your GP or skin cancer clinic for a professional check. You can talk to them about your skin type and ask for advice on early detection. They can tell you how frequently you should be getting professional skin checks to complement your regular self-checks.
We're making skin checks easier for Australians by partnering with Firstcheck*. Now you can take 'selfies' of spots you're concerned about on your skin and send them directly to skin cancer doctors for review from your smart phone or tablet using the Firstcheck App and SkinScope™.
Jade Custance is a skin cancer survivor. Here she shares her story and knowledge behind the condition to encourage everyone to commit to annual skin checks.Read
Jessica Pasco is based in Perth and is a survivor of skin cancer.Read