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It only takes a couple of minutes once a month to check for skin cancer. It’s very easy to do, and could even save your life.
Scroll down to view a step-by-step guide to checking your own skin. We’ve also produced a fun video – ‘The Skin Check Tango’ to help you learn how to check another person’s skin.
You will need to find a well-lit space in front of a full-length mirror, and make sure you have a hand mirror, a chair, a blow dryer or comb and a digital camera or pen and paper to record anything you find.
Remember, some symptoms of skin cancer can be felt more easily than they can be seen. Don’t just rely on your eyes – run your hands over your entire body as you check.
Step-by-step guide to checking your own skin.
Look at your face, including your nose, lips, mouth and on and behind your ears (using mirrors to get a clear view).
Check your scalp, using the comb or blow dryer to part your hair in layers. If you do not have much hair, be sure to check your entire scalp very thoroughly.
Check the front and back of your arms, beginning at the armpits and moving down through the elbow to your hands and in between your fingers.
Standing in front of the full-length mirror, begin at the elbows and scan all sides of your upper arms.. Women, be sure to check between and underneath your breasts.
Look to the neck and chest. Women should lift the breasts to see beneath.
Turn your back to the full length mirror, and use the hand mirror to check your back, starting at the neck and shoulders and moving down to your lower back.
Check your buttocks and the back of your legs, down to the heel.Turn around, facing the mirror once more, and check your genitals carefully. Check the front of your legs and the top of your feet.
Finish by checking the soles of your feet and in between your toes.