How to Prepare for Your Skin Cancer Check

Your skin check will go better if you’re properly prepared: make sure your skin is easy to examine and you have details of your previous skin and medical history.

Prepare your Skin

  • Please don’t wear make-up or nail polish and make sure your skin is clean.
  • If there are any particular spots you are concerned about, consider marking your skin nearby to make sure they aren’t missed during the examination.
  • If your spot of concern is in a hairy area, you may wish to shave around the spot a couple of days before your skin check.
  • If you wish to wax or shave a large area of skin, this should be done at least a week before your skin check so that pimples, ingrown hairs and scabs heal.
  • If you’ve had recent IPL or laser treatment to your skin, we recommend putting off your skin check for about a month as the IPL treatment can change the colour of your moles.
  • If you have applied fake tan or spray tan recently, we recommend putting off your skin check for about a month.
  • Dry skin can make spots harder to examine. We recommend that you keep your skin well moisturised. Ideally, you should moisturise any dry areas daily for a week or so before your skin check.
  • If you are having mole mapping, we recommend that you wear plain coloured underwear without a pattern.

Information to Bring

Details of any skin cancers, moles or other skin lesions you’ve had in the past. We need to know:

  • Location on your body
  • Year of removal or treatment
  • The type of treatment you had
  • The pathology results. Please bring in a copy if you can. This is especially useful if you’ve had a history of melanoma.

A list of all medications you currently take. This also includes over-the counter items such as aspirin, vitamin D and fish oil

A list of allergies, including allergies to dressings, antiseptics or other medications applied to the skin

Family history of skin cancer. Try to find out the type of skin cancer or pre-cancerous condition your relatives have had (i.e. melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancer, sun spots frozen off, etc)

Your medical history, including surgical procedures and conditions requiring medication. Pease let us know if you have any of the following:

  • skin conditions and rashes
  • disorders of bleeding or blood clotting
  • disorders of the immune system
  • artificial heart valves or pacemaker
  • overgrown or discoloured scars following procedures
  • blood-borne infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, C or HIV
  • vitamin D deficiency