With a bit of practice, most people can check their whole body in 15 minutes. You will need to undress completely and use a well-lit room. A squamous or basal cell carcinoma is likely to develop on skin most often exposed to the sun, but a melanoma can develop anywhere, so check your whole body.
Check your whole face including around the nose, lips and ears.
The scalp is difficult to examine alone. It’s best to ask a partner or friend for help. Make sure you part your hair. Try using a hand-held blow dryer or a comb to lift the hair from the scalp.
3.Neck and ears
Use a hand-held mirror to check the back of your neck and ears. Ask a partner for help if you need to.
Look at the front and back of your torso. If possible, ask a partner to check your back. Raise your arms and look at your right and left side.
5.Hands and fingers
Examine the backs of your hands, fingers, spaces between the fingers and under fingernails. Turn your hands over so the palms face up. Look carefully.
Face the mirror and look at your forearms and upper arms. Bend elbows to look at the undersides.
With your back towards the full-length mirror, look at your buttocks. A hand-held mirror can really help here.
Sit down and check the front and back of your thighs and lower legs. Use a hand-held mirror.
While sitting, cross one leg over the other. Examine the top of your foot, the toes, toenails and spaces between the toes. Check the sole or bottom of your foot; you may prefer to use a hand-held mirror to do this. Repeat the step with your other foot.
what to do if you spot somethingContact your GP as soon as possible if you see anything on your skin that:
- has changed in size, shape or colour
- has not healed within three weeks (such as an inflamed sore)
- itches or bleeds
- you do not think was there before
- looks different to other spots around it