25/12/2023 Blog

Skin cancer, a widespread concern for people in Australia and in the world. It can manifest across various parts of our body due to prolonged sun exposure, genetics, and other factors.

Interestingly, it’s not confined to areas that are always in the sun. While we often link it to parts that get a lot of sunlight, skin cancer can surprise us by showing up in places that rarely see the light. This makes understanding and preventing it a bit tricky.

Compound Naevi

Let’s talk in detail about regions that are most commonly affected by skin cancer.

Face and Neck

The face, being the most exposed area, is highly susceptible. The nose, ears, and neck often bear the brunt of the sun’s impact.

Seborrheic keratosis

These delicate features often bear the brunt of the sun’s relentless impact, subjecting them to prolonged ultraviolet (UV) exposure. The nose, with its prominent position, and the ears, which lack the protective cover of hair, are susceptible to UV damage. Simultaneously, the neck, while often covered by clothing, remains a focal point for skin cancer due to its regular exposure.

Regular monitoring of these areas is essential for early detection of any unusual changes. Protective measures such as sunscreen application, wearing hats, and seeking shade become crucial safeguards. By paying special attention to the face and neck, we can proactively protect these vulnerable zones, ensuring they remain healthy and free from the potential risks associated with skin cancer.

Arms and Hands

Our arms and hands, perpetually exposed to sunlight during various outdoor activities, become vulnerable to the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Whether engaged in gardening, sports, or simply enjoying a sunny day, these extremities bear the impact of the sun’s rays.

Constant UV exposure can lead to skin damage, making it crucial to monitor these areas for any irregularities. Unusual spots, changes in moles, or the development of new lesions should be promptly examined. While these regions are more resilient than some of the more delicate facial features, they are not immune to the development of skin cancers, especially if preventive measures are neglected.

Protective measures, including the application of sunscreen with sufficient sun protection factor (SPF), wearing long sleeves, and using accessories like hats, are essential for mitigating the risks. Regular self-examinations and professional check-ups become integral parts of a sun-safety routine, ensuring that these sunlit extremities remain healthy and free from the potential threats of skin cancer. By being vigilant and proactive, we can enjoy the outdoors while prioritising the well-being of our arms and hands.

Back and Shoulders

The expansive canvas of our back and shoulders often serves as a sunlit landscape,

receiving substantial sunlight during outdoor activities or simply when sunbathing. While these areas might not be as immediately visible as the face or hands, they are nonetheless susceptible to the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

As with all sun-exposed areas, preventive measures such as sunscreen application, protective clothing, and seeking shade during peak sunlight hours contribute significantly to reducing the risk of skin cancer. By extending our vigilance to the less conspicuous parts of our bodies, we enhance our overall sun-safety practices, promoting skin health from head to toe.


Despite spending much of their time shielded by clothing, our legs are not immune to the risk of skin cancer. Even in these less exposed areas, vigilance is crucial.

Due to their occasional exposure to sunlight, particularly during outdoor activities, it’s essential to extend our scrutiny to the legs. This diligence ensures that any potential signs of skin cancer are promptly identified, reinforcing a proactive stance in maintaining the health of our largest organ.


Often overlooked, the scalp is a common site for skin cancer development, especially for individuals with thinning hair or bald spots.

This is especially true for individuals with thinning hair or bald spots, who may be more vulnerable to harmful UV exposure.

Considering its hidden nature, the scalp demands intentional attention during regular skin checks, embodying a comprehensive approach to skin health. By recognising the susceptibility of this often-neglected area, we reinforce our commitment to early detection and proactive management of potential skin cancer concerns.

Chest and Torso

Sun exposure during outdoor activities can affect these areas. Check for any changes in moles or the appearance of new ones.


22/11/2023 Blog

As parents, the safety and wellbeing of our children is always our highest priority. One of the health issues that often doesn’t get as much attention as it should is skin cancer. Although it’s more commonly associated with adults, children are not immune. It’s essential to understand how to protect our kids from skin cancer, and this post aims to guide you through it step by step.

Elixir @ Hunter is a trusted skin cancer clinic in Maitland offering skin cancer check and treatment to patients in Hunter Valley and surrounding areas.

Understanding sun exposure and skin cancer

The sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that can cause skin damage, leading to skin cancer. Children’s skin is more delicate and susceptible to these harmful rays. Although skin cancer is not common in children, the harmful effects of sun exposure accumulate over time, increasing the risk in adulthood.


The role of sunscreen

Sunscreen plays an important role in protecting your child’s skin. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30. Apply it generously on all exposed skin, and don’t forget areas like the ears, the back of the neck, and the underside of the arms. For children aged six months and above, sunscreen should be a part of their daily routine, even on cloudy days, as UV rays can penetrate through clouds.

Sun-protective clothing

While sunscreen is important, it should not be your only line of defence. Dress your child in sun-protective clothing, including wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and clothes with a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). The denser the fabric and the darker the colour, the more protection it offers.

Limit sun exposure

Try to keep your children indoors when the sun’s rays are at their strongest, typically between 10 AM and 4 PM. If they must be outside during these hours, ensure they are well-protected with sunscreen and clothing, and encourage them to play in the shade when possible.

Regular skin checks

Regular skin checks can help in early detection of any abnormal skin changes. Teach your child about the importance of telling you about any new or changing moles or skin lesions.

Healthy habits and education

Educate your child about the importance of sun protection. Make it an engaging learning experience by turning it into a game or story. Encourage them to take ownership of their own sun protection as they grow older.

Remember, it’s never too early to start protecting your child’s skin. By instilling these habits early on, you are setting them up for a healthier future.


23/10/2023 Blog

Protect your scalp from the sun’s harmful rays. A commonly ignored area in sun protection, but also a frequent site for skin cancers like melanoma.

Scalp Skin Cancer


This area is more vulnerable than you might think, and it’s a common location for skin cancers, including melanoma.

Skin cancer is a concern for many, but when it comes to sun protection, one area often gets overlooked – the scalp. The scalp is susceptible to skin cancer, including the deadliest form, melanoma. To enjoy the outdoors while safeguarding your scalp, follow these tips:

Wear a Hat

Invest in a wide-brimmed hat that shades your face, neck, and scalp. Baseball caps offer partial protection, but for comprehensive coverage, opt for a hat with a full brim.

Use Sunscreen

When applying sunscreen, don’t forget your scalp. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30. If your hair is thin or you’re bald, apply sunscreen directly to your scalp or use a spray sunscreen.

Seek Shade

Avoid the sun’s peak intensity between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you must be outside, find shade or create your own with an umbrella.

Cover Up

Consider lightweight, long-sleeved shirts or shawls that offer protection for your scalp and the rest of your body.

Know Your Scalp

Regularly inspect your scalp for changes, including new moles, growths, or irregularities. If you notice anything unusual, consult a skin cancer doctor.

Hats for Kids

Instill sun protection habits in your children early. Ensure they wear hats and use sunscreen on their scalps as well.

Regular Check-ups

Schedule annual skin cancer checks with a skin cancer doctor. Early detection is key to effective treatment.

Cover Bald Spots

If your hair is thinning or you have bald spots, be extra diligent with sun protection. Consider using physical barriers like scarves or caps.

Need help?

If you need to get your skin check in Maitland or surrounding areas then contact Elixir @ Hunter today!


11/09/2023 BlogSkin Cancer

Skin cancer is a prevalent and concerning health issue worldwide. While prevention and early detection are crucial, it’s also essential to understand the success rates of skin cancer treatments. Advances in medical technology and treatment options have significantly improved the outlook for individuals diagnosed with skin cancer. Let’s understand the factors that influence skin cancer treatment success rates and the various treatment options available.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma or SCC

Early detection is key and hence it is recommended that if you notice any changes in your skin, consult with a skin cancer doctor as early as possible. We are a Skin Cancer Clinic in Maitland and we treat patients from Maitlaind, Newcastle & surrounding areas.

Factors influencing skin cancer treatment success rates

Type and Stage of Skin Cancer: The type and stage of skin cancer play a significant role in determining treatment success. Non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma often have high success rates, especially when detected early. Melanoma, a more aggressive form of skin cancer, has varying success rates depending on the stage at diagnosis.

Early Detection: Early detection is key to successful skin cancer treatment. Regular self-examinations and professional screenings help identify skin cancer in its initial stages, when treatment is most effective. The earlier the cancer is detected, the higher the chances of successful treatment.

Treatment Modality: Different skin cancer treatments yield varying success rates. These modalities include surgical excision, Mohs surgery, radiation therapy, cryotherapy, topical treatments, and immunotherapy. The choice of treatment depends on the type, stage, and location of the cancer.

Patient Health and Immune System: The overall health of the patient and the strength of their immune system impact treatment success. A robust immune response can aid in fighting cancer cells and reducing the risk of recurrence.

Skin Cancer Treatment Success Rates by Type

Basal Cell Carcinoma: With early detection, surgical excision or Mohs surgery has a high success rate of over 95%. These treatments offer excellent outcomes while minimising scarring.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: When detected early, surgical removal boasts success rates of around 90%. Advanced cases may require additional treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy.

Melanoma: Treatment success rates for melanoma vary widely depending on the stage. Localised melanomas have a high success rate, often above 95%, with surgical removal. Advanced cases might involve a combination of surgery, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.

Skin cancer treatment success rates have improved significantly due to advancements in medical knowledge and technology. Early detection, prompt intervention, and the choice of appropriate treatment are vital in achieving favourable outcomes.


26/08/2023 BlogSkin Cancer

Skin cancer is a prevalent and serious health concern that affects millions of people worldwide, including Australians. Beyond the physical impact, skin cancer can also have significant effects on a person’s daily life, including their work, personal life, and treatment journey.

Skin Check Maitland Hunter Valley

Here at Elixir @ Hunter, we not only provide high-quality skin cancer treatment in Maitland & Newcastle but also provide the necessary education to help patients be more informed.

Work life

Dealing with skin cancer while maintaining a career can be challenging. Depending on the type and stage of skin cancer, individuals may require treatment that could result in downtime, doctor’s appointments, and fatigue. For some, this may mean taking time off work or adjusting work schedules to accommodate treatment and recovery.

Support from employers and colleagues is crucial during this time, as it can significantly impact a person’s emotional well-being.

Personal life

Skin cancer can also affect a person’s personal life and emotional state. The diagnosis may lead to anxiety, stress, or fear about the future.

Coping with these emotions may require seeking support from friends and family. Additionally, engaging in activities that promote well-being, such as exercise, mindfulness, and hobbies, can help individuals navigate through the challenges.

Treatment journey

The treatment journey for skin cancer varies depending on the type and stage of the disease. Treatments may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or targeted therapy. While medical advancements have made treatments more effective, they can still cause side effects, such as fatigue, pain, or skin irritation. Understanding and preparing for potential side effects can make the treatment process more manageable.

Sun safety and prevention

Preventing skin cancer is a critical aspect of daily life for Australians. Sun safety practices, such as wearing protective clothing, using sunscreen, seeking shade, and avoiding peak sun hours, are essential to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. Incorporating these habits into daily routines is crucial, especially in Australia, where UV radiation levels are high.

Seeking professional help

Regular skin checks and early detection play a vital role in managing skin cancer.

Book your consultation with one of our doctors at Elixir @ Hunter. Whether you looking for skin cancer treatment in Newcastle or anywhere surrounding Maitland, just call us to book an appointment.


26/05/2023 Blog

Newcastle and Maitland, located in the beautiful region of New South Wales, Australia, are renowned for their picturesque landscapes and vibrant communities. However, living in these areas also means being exposed to the powerful rays of the sun. In this blog post, we will explore the impact of the sun on these regions and the importance of sun safety measures for residents and visitors alike.

The Sun and skin cancer

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, and Newcastle and Maitland are no exception. The region’s sunny climate and outdoor lifestyle increase the risk of skin damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Prolonged and unprotected exposure to the sun’s UV rays can lead to skin cancer, including melanoma, which is the most dangerous form.

The impact of sun exposure on skin cancer is significant and well-documented. Prolonged and unprotected exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a leading cause of skin cancer, a condition that affects millions of people worldwide and Newcastle in NSW, Australia is no different. The primary types of skin cancer caused by sun exposure are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

UV radiation damages the DNA in skin cells, leading to mutations that can result in the uncontrolled growth of cells and the development of cancerous tumors. Sunburns, particularly during childhood, increase the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. Moreover, cumulative sun exposure over time also contributes to the likelihood of developing the disease.

Preventing skin cancer involves adopting sun protection measures such as wearing sunscreen with a high SPF, seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding peak sun hours. Regular skin examinations and self-checks for any suspicious moles or skin changes are crucial for early detection and prompt treatment.

Skin cancer can have severe consequences, including disfigurement, the need for surgical interventions, and even metastasis in the case of melanoma. Therefore, raising awareness about the dangers of sun exposure and promoting sun-safe behaviors is essential in reducing the incidence of skin cancer and protecting individuals’ health and well-being.

Melanoma: A concerning issue

Melanoma, a type of skin cancer, is a significant health concern in Newcastle and Maitland. The region’s residents have a higher risk of developing melanoma due to the high levels of UV radiation. Melanoma can be life-threatening if not detected and treated early. It is crucial for individuals in these areas to be vigilant about monitoring their skin for any changes, such as new moles, freckles, or unusual spots.

If you are searching for a Melanoma clinic in Newcastle or Maitland then get in touch with Elixir @ Hunter today!

Sun safety measures

Taking proactive steps to protect oneself from the sun is essential in reducing the risk of skin damage and skin cancer. Here are some sun safety measures to keep in mind:

  1. Seek Shade: When the sun is at its strongest, typically between 10 am and 4 pm, seek shade whenever possible. This helps reduce direct exposure to harmful UV rays.
  2. Wear Protective Clothing: Covering exposed skin with clothing, including long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats, can provide a physical barrier against UV radiation.
  1. Apply Sunscreen: Regularly applying broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher is crucial. Make sure to apply it generously to all exposed areas, including the face, neck, arms, and legs. Remember to reapply every two hours, or more frequently if swimming or sweating.
  1. Wear Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays by wearing sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB radiation.
  1. Stay Hydrated: It is vital to stay hydrated, especially during hot weather, as it helps maintain overall skin health.

Community initiatives

The Newcastle and Maitland communities have taken proactive steps to raise awareness about sun safety and the prevention of skin cancer. Schools, community organisations, and local health authorities regularly organize educational campaigns and events to promote sun protection and encourage regular skin checks.

Treatment options

The region is fortunate to have access to excellent medical services that specialise in skin cancer detection and treatment. Elixir @ Hunter is a trusted skin cancer clinic in Maitland.


01/05/2023 Blog

Sunburn is a skin condition that occurs when the skin is overexposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiations. You can see sunlight and feel the heat (infrared radiation), but you can’t see or feel the UV radiations. The UV rays can damage your skin even on cool, cloudy days.

Seborrheic keratosis

The sunburn can vary in severity and is classified into three levels based on the extent of the damage to the skin: first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree sunburn.

The signs of sunburn can start to appear in as little as 10 minutes and skin can turn red within a few hours of being burnt. It will continue to develop for the next 24 to 72 hours and, depending on the severity, can take days or weeks to heal. A mild sunburn can be treated at home, whereas a severe and blistered sunburn requires prompt medical attention.

The UV index in Australia is very high during summer and exposure for a longer period can result in sunburn and may lead to higher risk of getting skin cancers in future. Learn more about why Australia has a high skin cancer rate.

The long term effects of recurrent sunburn include premature skin ageing and an increased risk of skin cancers.

Early detection of sunburn and the possible link to skin cancer is key, book your consultation with one of our doctors at Elixir @ Hunter Maitland even if you are looking for a skin cancer clinic in Newcastle.

Sunburn levels

Sunburns are categorised based on the severity of skin damage. The two most common types of sunburn include first degree burn and second degree burn.

First-degree sunburn: This is the mildest form of sunburn and affects the outer layer of the skin. The symptoms include redness, pain, and swelling in the affected areas of the body. The affected area may feel hot to the touch, and there may be some peeling as the skin begins to heal.

Second-degree sunburn: This is more severe and affects both the outer and underlying layers of the skin. The symptoms include blistering, intense pain, and swelling. There may also be fever, chills, nausea, confusion, tiredness, muscle cramps. Second-degree sunburn requires medical attention to prevent infection and promote healing.

Third-degree sunburn: This is rare with sunburns but can still be possible. This is the most severe form of sunburn. It affects all layers of the skin and the fatty layer below that, and can cause permanent damage, such as scarring, skin discoloration, and increases the risk of having skin cancers. The symptoms include deep tissue damage, severe pain, and the formation of blisters that cover a large area of the skin,severe dehydration and systemic symptoms including a heat stroke or shock. Third-degree sunburn is an emergency and requires immediate medical attention.

The impact of sunburn

Sunburn can have a significant impact on a person’s health and well-being. In addition to the physical discomfort and pain, sunburn can increase the risk of skin cancers, can cause premature ageing, and other skin changes like irregular pigmentation and prominence of capillaries creating redness on the affected areas. Long-term exposure to UV rays can also damage the eyes, leading to cataracts, macular degeneration, and other vision problems.

All types of sunburn, whether serious or mild, can cause permanent and irreversible skin damage. This could lay the groundwork for skin cancers to develop. Further sunburn only increases your risk of skin cancer.

Preventing sunburn is crucial for maintaining skin health and preventing long-term damage. Wearing protective clothing, using sunscreen with a high SPF, and avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun during peak hours are all effective ways to prevent sunburn. It is also important to stay hydrated and seek medical attention if symptoms of sunburn are severe or do not improve over time.

In conclusion, sunburn is a common skin condition that can range from a mild self-limiting condition to life-threatening. Understanding the different levels of sunburn and their symptoms is essential for preventing long-term damage and maintaining skin health. By taking precautions and seeking medical attention when necessary, individuals can enjoy the outdoors safely and without fear of sunburn.

How to avoid sunburn?

Sunburn can be avoided by taking the following precautions:

  1. Wear protective clothing: Wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses can help to shield the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  2. Use sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher at least 15-30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
  3. Seek shade: Limit exposure to direct sunlight by seeking shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter.
  4. Avoid peak hours: Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun during peak hours (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.), when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  5. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water and fluids to prevent dehydration, which can worsen the effects of sunburn.
  6. Be aware of medication interactions: Certain medications, such as antibiotics and acne treatments, can make the skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays. Check with a doctor or pharmacist to determine if any medications you are taking could increase your risk of sunburn.
  7. Protect your eyes: Wear sunglasses with UV protection to prevent damage to your eyes from the sun’s rays.
  8. Be cautious on reflective surfaces: Water, snow, and sand can reflect the sun’s rays and increase the risk of sunburn. Take extra precautions when near these surfaces.

Elixir @ Hunter is a skin cancer clinic in Maitland, NSW. Book a consultation if you need your skin to be checked.


17/03/2023 Blog

Skin cancer develops when skin cells are altered and start reproducing abnormally. As they grow and divide without stopping, they can spread to other places in your body through your blood or lymphatic circulation.

The question of ‘What causes skin cancer?’ is frequently asked by people on the internet.

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer worldwide, with over 5 million new cases diagnosed each year. Australia has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world.
In Australia melanoma is the second commonest invasive cancer of women after breast cancer. It is the second commonest invasive cancer of men following prostate cancer. Melanoma is now more common than either lung cancer or bowel cancer in Australia.

What causes skin cancer?

  • Basal cell skin cancer is caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or tanning beds. The UV rays can damage the DNA inside your skin cells, causing the unusual cell growth.
  • Squamous cell skin cancer is mostly caused by UV exposure, mainly the sun. Squamous cell skin cancer can also develop after long-term exposure to cancer-causing chemicals. It can also develop within a long standing burn scar or ulcer .
  • The cause of melanoma remains unclear. The sun has a major role but there are other unexplained factors. Like basal and squamous cell skin cancers, melanoma can be caused by UV rays. However, melanomas can sometimes develop in parts of your body that are not typically exposed to sunlight.

Skin Cancer Check

Risk factors

There are several risk factors for skin cancers, including exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, genetics, and environmental factors.

  1. Sun exposure – One of the most significant risk factors for skin cancer is exposure to UV radiation from sunlight. When the skin is exposed to UV radiation, it can damage the DNA in skin cells, leading to mutations and abnormal growth. Over time, this can lead to the formation of skin cancer.
  2. Tanning Studios – Tanning including exposure to tanning lamps and beds, also puts you at risk. A tan is an injury response to excessive UV radiation, and repeated exposure to UV radiations in this way can trigger the process of formation of DNA damage leading to formation of skin cancers.
  3. Fair skin – Skin cancer can affect everyone, regardless of their skin color. Pigment or colour of the skin is related to formation of melanin. Melanin helps to protect your skin from damaging UV radiation. People with fair skin (which means they have less pigment) have less protection against damaging UV radiation.
  4. A history of sunburn – Having had one or more blistering sunburns as a child, teenager or adult increases your risk of developing skin cancer as an adult.
  5. Moles – People who have many abnormal moles (dysplastic nevi) are at increased risk of skin cancer. Abnormal moles usually look irregular and are generally larger than normal moles. Abnormal moles are more likely to become cancerous.
  6. Precancerous skin lesions – The risk of skin cancer may increase for people who have skin lesions known as actinic keratosis. These precancerous skin growths typically appear as rough, scaly patches that range in colour from brown to dark pink. Actinic keratoses are caused by the sun. The most common place for these precancerous growths is on the head, face and hands of fair-skinned people.
  7. A family history of skin cancer – If one of your family has had skin cancer, you may have an increased risk of getting skin cancer.
  8. Sunny or high-altitude climates – People who live in sunny warm climates are exposed to more sunlight than are people who live in colder climates. They are exposed to more UV radiation.
  9. A weakened immune system – Immune systems have a crucial role to keep us healthy. People with weakened immune systems (such as people living with HIV/AIDS and those taking immunosuppressant drugs after an organ transplant) have a greater risk of developing skin cancer.
  10. A personal history of skin cancer – 2/3rds of people who develop a skin cancer go on to grow a second skin cancer. If you have had two skin cancers the risk of a third is over 90%.
  11. Exposure to certain substances – Environmental factors can also contribute to the development of skin cancer. Exposure to certain chemicals, such as arsenic or coal tar, can increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Additionally, exposure to radiation from medical procedures or nuclear fallout can also increase the risk of developing skin cancer.
  12. Genetics – Genetics can also play a role in the development of skin cancer. People with a family history of skin cancer are more likely to develop the disease themselves. Additionally, people with certain genetic mutations are also at an increased risk of developing skin cancer.


  • Reducing sun exposure helps. Suntan or sunburn means future skin cancer risk. Avoid outdoors 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM.
  • Apply and reapply sunscreen regularly.
  • Shade over the pool & playgrounds protects our kids.
  • Long-sleeved shirts.
  • Hats with a brim.
  • Drive with windows up.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Long pants or skirts.
  • 50+ Sunscreen.
  • Umbrellas and shelters.
  • Enclosed tractors.
  • Check your own skin each month.
  • See your doctor if any new or changing skin lesion develops.
  • Have a regular skin checkup with a professional every 1-2 years.
  • Patients who have had a melanoma need 6 monthly skin checks by a doctor for life.

Early detection is already known as the best way to ensure successful treatment of skin cancer before the disease develops further. Unlike other organs, your skin is always highly visible. That means you can proactively watch for signs of changes, unusual spots, or worsening symptoms.
We have a dedicated blog on how to detect early signs of skin cancers.

If you need skin check in Maitland or looking skin cancer clinic in Newcastle then call Elixir @ Hunter today!


09/03/2023 Blog

Australia is a beautiful country and experiences some amazon weather in different states. Australia is known for its beautiful beaches, warm climate, and outdoor lifestyle. However, it is also known for having one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. In fact, skin cancer is the most common cancer in Australia. As per Sunsmart, More than two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime.

Skin Cancer Check

This is a significant health concern, and the question is: why does Australia have such a high rate of skin cancer?

UV Radiation

The answer to this question is multifaceted, and there are several contributing factors to consider. The first and perhaps most obvious reason is the country’s location. Australia is located near the equator, which means that the sun’s UV rays are stronger and more intense than in other parts of the world. This increased exposure to UV radiation means that Australians are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer.

Outdoor Lifestyle

Another contributing factor is the country’s outdoor lifestyle. Australians love to spend time outdoors, whether it’s at the beach, playing sports, or simply enjoying the beautiful scenery. This means that people are often exposed to the sun for long periods of time, which can increase their risk of developing skin cancer.

In addition to the outdoor lifestyle, there is also a cultural factor to consider. Australians often pride themselves on having a tan, which can be seen as a symbol of health and vitality. Unfortunately, this cultural mindset has led to a significant number of people not taking proper precautions when it comes to sun exposure. Many Australians do not wear protective clothing or sunscreen, and they often spend hours in the sun without taking a break or seeking shade.

Elixir Skin Cancer Check

It is also important to note that some Australians are more at risk of developing skin cancer than others. People with fair skin, red or blonde hair, and light-colored eyes are more susceptible to the harmful effects of UV radiation. Additionally, those with a family history of skin cancer are also at a higher risk.

Need Help?

Elixir @ Hunter is a skin cancer cancer clinic in Maitland with with two operating rooms, a dressing room and a modern laser and cosmetic room. We also provide cosmetic treatment. If you are located in Newcastle and needing skin cancer treatment then we are only a short drive away.

How to protect against skin cancer?

Despite the high rate of skin cancer in Australia, there are steps that people can take to protect themselves. The most important thing is to limit sun exposure, especially during peak hours when the sun’s rays are the strongest. This can be achieved by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and applying sunscreen with a high SPF. It is also important to learn how to detect skin cancer early and seek medical attention if they notice any changes in their skin. Early detection is key when it comes to treating skin cancer, and regular skin checks can help to identify any potential issues before they become more serious.

Australia’s high rate of skin cancer is a complex issue with several contributing factors. While the country’s location and outdoor lifestyle play a role, cultural attitudes towards tanning and a lack of awareness about the risks of sun exposure are also significant factors. It is important for Australians to take steps to protect themselves from the harmful effects of UV radiation, including limiting sun exposure, wearing protective clothing, and applying sunscreen. By taking these precautions, Australians can reduce their risk of developing skin cancer and enjoy the country’s beautiful outdoor lifestyle safely.


16/12/2022 Blog

The three common types of skin cancers are:

  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma or SCC
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma or BCC
  • Malignant Melanoma or MM

Melanoma is the most dangerous amongst the common types of skin cancers. It usually starts as a simple skin lesion. The cancer cells then get into the bloodstream and can spread to any other part of the body. It is the spread elsewhere that can result in death. Oot of every ten people that die of skin cancer, eight die of melanoma.

Elixir @ Hunter is skin cancer clinic in Maitland, offering quality skin cancer treatment. Book your consultation today!

What does it look like?

It is generally a dark coloured mole that may have an irregular shape. Most of these lesions are flat lesions within the skin rather than sticking out from the skin. Most of them will appear just like a common flat mole with asymmetrical distribution of pigmentation but they are usually asymptomatic.

Most of these lesions are neither painful nor itchy, and most can’t be felt. Some melanomas can appear as a bump in the skin. A melanoma that can be felt is more serious than one that can be seen but not felt.

Most of the melanoma grows horizontally on the skin surface before they start going deeper. The depth of the melanoma is the most important prognostic criteria. Melanoma over 0.75 mm Breslow thickness (measuring scale for melanoma) can have more potential to spread in the body as compared to thinner melanomas. The melanoma that appears as a bump in the skin has more potential to spread as this type of melanoma starts to grow vertically almost from day 1, and these are the melanomas which can become life-threatening in as little as 6 weeks.

Risk Factors

The most common site for melanoma is on the arms, legs or back, but they can grow on any area of the skin including palms, soles and under the nails.

Around 90% of the melanomas are linked to damage from Ultraviolet or UV rays.

A genetic condition called “Dysplastic Naevus Syndrome” or “Atypical Naevus Syndrome” is a major risk factor for melanoma. Multiple dysplastic melanocytic naevus syndrome (MDMNS) is a condition where a patient has 5 or more dysplastic melanocytic naevi (DMNs). These people are at substantial risk of developing melanoma. MDMNS patients have a future melanoma risk more than 40 times the risk of other patients.

Dysplastic moles mostly look like very dark or black moles. They often have a strange irregular shape, like the map of a country, but are otherwise smooth to touch.

melanoma check

Patients with MDMNS are at high risk of melanoma. It is therefore essential that extreme measures are taken to avoid sun damage.

Regular careful skin checks are essential and are the key to MDMNS. In most of these people, melanoma mostly grows from normal looking skin rather than from existing dysplastic moles. As such, simply removing lots of dysplastic moles is not the answer.

These patients need a regular 6 monthly professional skin checkup and they also need to check their own skin every 2-3 months or even every month. There are parts of your skin you can’t see. Ask your partner or friend to check these areas for you. If any new or changing mole develops between the scheduled appointments, do not wait. Please make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible.

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Where can melanoma spread into the body?

Melanoma can spread anywhere. The commonest site is lymph nodes. It can also spread to nearby skin sites. It is more serious when it spreads to places like the lungs, liver and brain. A spread to these distant sites has a concerning risk of death.

What is the usual treatment?

Skin melanoma lesions are invariably excised. Melanoma treatment is almost always in at least two stages.

The doctor will initially take out just the lesion with a narrow margin to confirm the diagnosis and to check the depth and other prognostic factors of the melanoma.

Once the diagnosis and other prognostic factors are confirmed, a wider excision is organised. This second excision requires a wide ring of non-involved skin being removed from around the melanoma. The clearance is usually 1 or 2 cm of apparently normal skin on all sides.

Early diagnosis and treatment of a melanoma is the key to maximising survival. Try to catch the melanoma before it has spread.

Can the melanoma come back?

Wide excision with the recommended melanoma margin guidelines minimises the risk of recurrence of melanoma.

The chances of recurrence of melanoma depends on individual factors including: the thickness the cancer penetrates the skin, its body location, whether the cancer had an ulcer on its surface, whether there are lymph nodes involved and whether it is spread to other places in the body.

What happens if a melanoma spreads in the body?

While usually fatal in the past, there are now new treatments available for metastatic melanoma. If you have a metastatic melanoma, you will be referred to a medical oncologist, a specialist in these cancer drug therapies.

If the melanoma has spread to a single site, surgery can be helpful.

Radiation is not commonly used for managing melanoma, but it can be useful when a site of spread produces marked local pain.

Risk of getting more melanomas after a diagnosis of melanoma

Any person who has developed a melanoma is susceptible to further skin cancers. This includes a further lifetime risk of getting melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.

It is recommended to have regular and ongoing skin checks for life.

How to reduce the risk of getting a melanoma?

  • Reducing sun exposure helps. Suntan or sunburn means future skin cancer risk. Avoid outdoors 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM.
  • Apply and reapply sunscreen regularly.
  • Shade over the pool & playgrounds protects our kids.
  • Long-sleeved shirts.
  • Hats with a brim.
  • Drive with windows up.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Long pants or skirts.
  • 50+ Sunscreen.
  • Umbrellas and shelters.
  • Enclosed tractors.
  • Check your own skin each month.
  • See your doctor if any new or changing skin lesion develops.
  • Have a regular skin checkup with a professional every 1-2 years.
  • Patients who have had a melanoma need 6 monthly skin checks by a doctor for life.

If you need skin cancer treatment in Newcastle or Maitland then call us today and book a consultation.

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