​Skin cancer is very common in Australia. It is often caused by long-term sun exposure. Over 60% of fair Australians will have a skin cancer by the time they are 70.

Certain people are at increased risks of developing a skin cancer including those who are outdoor workers, have outdoor sporting or other hobbies and those with fair skin.

The best ways to help limit your risk of developing a skin cancer is sun protection and sun avoidance.

Wearing a broad-brimmed hat, sunglasses, protective tight-weaved clothing and choosing to sit in the shade are all very important. A high SPF sunscreen should be applied in generous amounts 20 minutes prior to going out in the sun and be reapplied every 2-3 hours and also if you have been swimming or in contact with water. Be aware that a moisturiser which contains a sunscreen applied in the morning will likely not be able to protect you by lunchtime.

The different cancer types are:

Basal cell carcinoma:
Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) are the most common type of skin cancer in Australia. There are multiple types of basal cell carcinomas and these include superficial, nodular and sclerosing variants. The type that you are diagnosed with is important, as this will dictate the type of treatment that is appropriate for you. These treatments can include both nonsurgical and surgical options. The non-surgical options include creams such as imiquimod (Aldara). If these are untreated, they grow slowly over a number of months or years, and gradually invade the skin and down deeper into the fat and nerves.
Squamous cell carcinoma:
Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are another variant of non-melanoma skin cancers. There are also different types of squamous cell carcinomas and these include superficial and deeper variants. Some of these will arise from sunspots or actinic keratoses. As with basal cell carcinomas, the variant of squamous cell carcinoma will determine the appropriate treatment available. Again, this can include both surgical and non-surgical options.

Melanoma is the fourth most common cancer in Australia. Its incidence is increasing and, if diagnosed early, has a good survival rate. Melanoma is associated with sunlight exposure including sun beds. Other risk factors for the development of melanoma include fair skin type and family or personal history of melanoma. Ways to detect a melanoma skin cancer early are by self-examination and also having a skin check with your dermatologist or general practitioner. It is helpful to keep in mind the ABCDE rule. This involves the following:

A Asymmetry
B Border irregularity
C Contour variation
D Diameter over 6mm
E Evolving or enlarging or changing

Non-melanoma skin cancer treatment:
Non-melanoma skin cancers can be treated both non-surgically and surgically, depending on the variant of the skin cancer. Information is obtained from a biopsy and includes the depth of the skin cancer, the presence of pigmentation or small finger-like projections indicating a sclerosing-type. If the skin cancer is amenable, topical treatments can be used and include imiquimod (Aldara) and 5-fluorouracil (Efudix). These are suitable for more superficial skin cancers. Photodynamic therapy can also be used. This involves the application of a cream followed, at least two hours later by exposure to a red LED light that activates the cream. The advantage of this option is its ease of administration and cosmetic outcome. Some skin cancers need to be surgically removed. The size and type of skin cancer will determine the type of surgical procedure.
Melanoma skin cancer treatment:
Melanoma skin cancers need to be excised- this is the only active treatment for an early stage melanoma. However a sizeable surrounding area of skin may need to be taken. In advanced melanoma, other procedures may need to be performed including CT scans, blood tests, and examination of local lymph nodes to detect the extent of the melanoma and treatment options. Fortunately, with good monitoring, most melanomas are caught early.

To Make An Appointment

Phone: (03) 9748 4411

Email: admin@westderm.net.au

Fax: (03) 9749 3398

To Make An Appointment


(03) 9748 4411




(03) 9749 3398

Important Information About Your Appointment


A valid referral is required from you GP or other specialist to be able to claim Medicare benefits from your consultation.

A referral is not required to consult with our cosmetic dermal therapist.


A form registering your details, medications and previous medical problems will need to be completed on the day of your appointment prior to your consultation. Please remember to bring a list of current medications with you on the day.


Settling of your fee is required on the day of consultation.

We accept VISA and MasterCard, EFTPOS and cash payments

Significant cosmetic treatments require payment at the time the procedure appointment is made

Failure to keep appointments

Missed appointments will incur a cancellation fee.

Make up / Clothing

Please remember to remove make up for facial concerns (and remember to bring some makeup to reapply after the consultation)

For consultations where a skin check is required, wearing looser clothing may be helpful or alternatively there are patient gowns available for your use

New Appointments

These appointments can only be made for the Werribee and Richmond locations.

In Ballarat only review appointments are offered.

Cosmetic Treatments

Most cosmetic treatments are only offered at our Werribee location.