The following questions relate to factors that have been proven to increase your risk of developing skin cancer.

Attention: Even if you are not at risk according to the following questions it doesn’t guarantee your safety. If you notice a lesion that is different from others (the Ugly Duckling) or a lesion which is changing in shape, size or colour or a lesion that itches or bleeds you should contact SkinCheck Malaysia immediately.

The universal truth about melanoma is that it will change. If you suspect a lesion is changing, it should be checked immediately.

Itching or bleeding of moles is not normal. If you answered yes, you may have a mole that requires immediate diagnosis. Contact SkinCheck to arrange an appointment to talk to your doctor today.

If you have had a previous melanoma, your chance of developing another is markedly increased.

Melanoma can be genetically linked – if one of your first degree relatives (Parents, Siblings or Children) has had a melanoma you are at increased risk.

The presence of atypical moles suggests that your body has the ability to produce melanin (the pigment in your moles & melanoma) at an irregular rate, meaning you are more susceptible to melanoma than someone who has no or normal looking moles.

Generally speaking, the more moles you have on your body, the greater your risk of developing melanoma.

Melanoma is related to your total UV exposure, and this is significantly influenced by exposure to UV when your skin was “younger”. If you spent a lot of time in the sun as a youngster, or had severe sunburns, you are at an increased risk.

People with fair skin and light-coloured eyes are more likely to develop melanoma.

Sunbed use has been proven to impact your melanoma risk. Sunbeds use UV Radiation, which has been proven to damage the DNA in the skin, which can cause melanoma. The use of sunbeds before the age of 35 increases your risk 87%.

Dermoscopy is the use of a hand-held magnifying device called a dermatoscope to visualise features of pigmented and non-pigmented skin lesions that are not seen by the naked eye. In a trained physician, dermoscopy has been shown to increase the diagnostic accuracy in detecting skin cancers. The evidence is so compelling that the Australian Government and National Health and Medical Research Council have given the use of dermoscopy a Grade A recommendation: ‘training and utilisation of dermoscopy is recommended for clinicians routinely examining pigmented lesions’. This essentially means that if anybody is going to look at a skin lesion, especially a pigmented skin lesion such as a mole, then a dermatoscope must be used.

Here are just 2 examples why this is important:

Naked eye examination of a dark lesion. To most people this would look suspicious.

Using the dermatoscope, the lesion can comfortably be diagnosed as a benign Seborrheic Keratosis and the patient reassured.

Naked eye examination of this ‘pretty normal’ looking mole.

Applying the dermatoscope to the skin and a different picture emerges of an early melanoma which could have been easily missed.

For these reasons, the dermatoscope is routinely employed to examine every skin lesion in my practice.



No melanoma surveillance program can claim to be 100% accurate. It is therefore important to continue seeing your doctor or specialist for regular skin checks especially if you are at high risk of developing melanoma or other skin cancers. Regular self-examination is extremely important.

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