The best after-sun skin care is not just a cream – Part 2
You should check the following areas of skin:
1. The face and around the eyes, paying particular attention to the temples, top of the forehead, the lower eyelid, the bridge of the nose and the upper lip.
2. You should examine behind the ears, around the base of the neck, the collarbone and decolletage down to between the breasts.
3. You should check the sides of your arms and the backs of your hands.
4. You should also check the front of your legs, around the ankles and the backs of the lower legs, the tops of the feet and the soles of the feet.
5. You should get someone else to check your chest, trunk and your back as you cannot always see these areas so well yourself.
Generally, sun damage causing skin cancers is going to be in the commonly sun-exposed areas. Notwithstanding this, skin cancers can also develop in more intimate areas that have very little or no sun exposure. If you notice anything untoward that could be an early sign of skin cancer or an unrepaired area of sun damage, you should make an appointment to see Dr Jennifer Crawley, the consultant dermatologist, privately.
Dr Crawley will do a body check and look at your skin to see whether there are early signs of skin cancer in addition to the areas that you will have noticed that you have come to see her about. Dr Crawley works with a chaperone when examining your body.
How does Dr Crawley examine your skin?
She uses a bright light, an examination couch and a dermatoscope, which is a specialised torch and magnifier for viewing the fine detail of possible skin cancers. She will perform a biopsy on suspicious lesions if indicated, and she will treat pre-cancerous areas with cryotherapy or curettage as required.
Dr Crawley will provide you with the appropriate soothing creams and skin protection, including sunscreens and advice on clothing, with your skin type in mind, to shield against the harsh summer sun and to prevent years of future damage.
She cannot stop you from getting skin cancer because the damage to the DNA has occurred in previous years, but she can help to detect the early signs of skin cancer and stop them in their tracks with cryotherapy and curettage of the lesions.
She will perform the biopsy and send to the laboratory for histopathological analysis any lesions that she is concerned about; it may be that there are indications of a more serious cancer such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma or malignant melanoma of the skin.
Dr Jennifer Crawley is fee assured with all the private medical insurance companies. You should get pre-authorisation to see her if you have private medical insurance. If you are a privately paying patient, the initial assessment is usually £250. If she needs to carry out further diagnostic tests or procedures, there will be an additional fee, but we will keep you informed about this.
If diagnostic tests or procedures are required, and you have private medical insurance, Clinica London is fee assured with all of the private medical insurance companies. You should not have any excess to pay unless under the terms of your contract with a medical insurer they indicate that there is either an excess, for instance, at the beginning of the year, or you have a co-payment agreement.
During the full skin check undertaken by Dr Jennifer Crawley, she will take photographs of any suspicious areas of skin, including any lesions, for monitoring and comparison, and Clinica London will retain these images. The self-paying price for a full skin check, including dermatoscopy and photographs, is £285.