Living in New Zealand involves facing everything our climate has to offer, and resilient as it is, your skin needs care and attention to stay healthy especially as you age.
Many of us grew up in a world of sunbathing and body oils and had never heard of Slip Slop Slap. Our parents didn’t know to slather us in sunscreen every time we left the house. Until recently we didn’t even know that New Zealand’s skin cancer rates are among the highest in the world.
It’s too late to turn back the clock and undo sunburn damage, but going forward we can protect ourselves. Early detection is the best defence against skin cancer. Over the last 15 years Chris and Andrew have detected and managed over 1000 cases of melanoma - 99% of these have achieved a full cure - if found and caught early enough Melanoma is a totally curable cancer! Early detection is essential.
At the SkinCheck Clinic we help you monitor and care for your skin. If we find a skin cancer it is highly likely our treatment will mean a complete cure
Have you had your skin checked lately?
Should you book a check-up? Let’s find out by taking an easy quiz:
- Does your job expose you to high levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB)? Do you work outdoors?
- Do your hobbies and sports expose you to high levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB)? Especially 11am to 4pm? E.g. sailing, gardening, cycling, horse riding etc.
- Do you have a history of sunburn in childhood and adolescence?
- Have you used a sunbed or solarium? If yes, how often?
- Do you have any irregular or large moles?
- Are you concerned about changes to your skin, moles, sun spots or other marks?
- Do you have a personal history of melanoma?
- Have you had any moles removed?
- Does your family have a history of melanoma?
- Are you fair-skinned and/or red-headed? And do you burn easily?
- Are you over 50?
- Are you male? See Statistics below, although we don’t want to worry you!
The more of these questions you answer YES to the more at risk you are of suffering with a skin cancer.
Having an annual full skin check will provide you with a baseline and assuming there are no lesions of concern you can then self-inspect your skin once a month. Using this protocol to monitor for changes will help ensure you detect possible problems early. If between annual skin checks you find something new or changing, then pop into the clinic and we will assess the situation (often at no charge). More often than not we are able to provide reassurance.
Statistics from Melanoma.org.nz
- Over 4000 people are diagnosed with either melanoma in situ or invasive melanoma every year in New Zealand – that’s around 11 every day
- It’s the fourth most common cancer in New Zealand and accounts for nearly 80% of all skin cancer deaths
- Around 300 New Zealanders die of melanoma every year
- New Zealand and Australia have the highest melanoma incidence rate in the world
- 70% of melanoma cases occur in people aged 50 years and older
- Melanoma rarely occurs in children
- Although Maori and Pacific people have a lower chance of getting melanoma, they often have thicker, more serious melanomas
- Death rates are higher among men and appear to be increasing
You can protect your skin against harmful UV radiation:
• Seek shade
• Wear broad-brimmed hats
• Wear clothing covering the arms, legs and body
• Choose appropriate sunglasses (close fitting, wrap-around glasses that meet the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS1067)
• Use sunscreens, in conjunction with but not as a replacement for physical methods
UV radiation is highest between 11am and 4pm during daylight saving months. Read more about being sunsmart and reducing your risk of skin cancer here. Although it’s not possible to turn back the clock and undo sunburn damage, going forward we can protect ourselves. Early detection is the best defence against skin cancer.
Would you like to find out more?
Talk to us, we’re happy to answer your queries, Phone: 443 6266