Skin cancer focus
Dermatology Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Ireland. Most skin cancers can be cured if detected early.
Skin cancer is an uncontrolled growth of skin cells and most often develops on skin exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It can also develop on parts of the skin that have not been directly exposed to sunlight.
Melanoma, often growing from a mole or as a new lesion resembling a mole, is one of the more aggressive forms of skin cancer and can be a major health concern if it is not caught early. Early detection is the key to successful treatment.
When it comes to finding melanomas, patients are often the ones to sound the alarm, so ordinary people can and should get better at noticing changes on their skin. Keeping an eye on your skin is one way you can be proactive about your own health.
Look out for skin changes in existing moles or new marks
It’s important both to look out for changes in your existing moles and to be aware of any new moles or marks on your skin. In adults, over 70% of melanomas show up as new moles or marks on the skin. Pay attention to new pigmented lesions if you are over 35 and remember to check difficult to see areas such as your back. A sore that doesn’t heal within a few weeks or a lesion that itches or bleeds are also clear signs that you need to get it checked. If you are in doubt, see your doctor.
Keep track of skin changes with the camera on your phone
Leading experts recommend using of photos to keep a record of the appearance of moles and wider areas of skin so that it’s easier to identify changes over time.
Miiskin is a convenient and secure app designed to keep such a photo record.
Miiskin securely documents skin changes over time and was the first app to be dermatologically endorsed by the Skin Health Alliance. Within the app you can compare close-up photos taken at different times to see if anything has changed. It also lets you photograph wider areas of your skin and to access and compare the photos on your computer or tablet to look out for new moles and marks. Convenient reminders are provided to help users remember to take regular photos over time. Importantly, the app does not provide any diagnoses or risk assessments of the photographs.