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What is that skin 'thing'?

CC PreventSkinCancer AdTimaru Courier Column - July/August 2014

I often get asked to "look at this thing on my skin doctor". That 'thing or lesion' can also be called, by patients, anything from red/brown/age/beauty spots, pigmentation, spider veins, broken capillaries, flaky skin, lumps, bumps, moles or freckles. The definition of a skin lesion is 'a part of the skin that has an abnormal growth or appearance compared to the skin around it'. There are numerous illnesses that can cause skin 'things' including skin cancer (of which there are various different types), pre-skin cancer, lentigo's, actinic keratosis, telangiectasia, eczema, etc, etc. The list goes on and so it is important that you see someone medically trained to diagnose and also ideally treat your skin 'thing'-who knows, it could be melanoma.

Causes of skin 'things': The most common cause of skin 'things' is sun damage but exposure to other chemicals in the environment and genetics can also play a part.

Diagnosis: Although not all skin 'things' are dangerous, some in particular, like melanoma can be. Melanoma is the third most common form of cancer in NZ, and can be lethal, if left untreated. Dermoscopy, performed by a doctor trained in it, increases the accuracy of diagnosing skin 'things' and reduces unnecessary surgery.

Prevention: Excessive sun exposure is clearly linked to skin cancer. In addition snubbed exposure doubles you risk of skin cancer. The SLIP, SLOP, SLAP and WRAP sunsmart campaign ( is the best summary of sun safety.

  • SLIP-into long-sleeved, long-legged clothes and under the shade.
  • SLOP-on 7 teaspoons worth of SPF 30+ sunblock every 2 hours, 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every 2 hours or after being in water or sweating.
  • SLAP-on a hat with a wide brim or a cap with flaps.
  • WRAP-on a pair of wrap around sunglasses with 100% UV protection.

The best type of suncream is a natural sunblock like Osmosis 'Shade'. In addition Osmosis Catalyst plus and Catalyst AC-11 medical serums (skin creams) are patented as to prevent skin cancer and treat skin lesions.


Solution: For dangerous or semi-dangerous skin 'things., a doctor can perform excisions (minor surgery), liquid nitrogen (dry ice), biopsies and prescribe prescription medications. Keep in mind that your options extend beyond surgery and that most skin cancers, if detected early, are curable.

For safe but unwanted skin 'things', there are a range of treatments that include Medical quality natural serums (skin creams), facial infusions using Medical quality ingredients, IPL (ELOS) light therapy, microsclerotherapy, liquid nitrogen (dry ice) and minor surgery.

shade 30ml MD-thumbOSMOSIS Shade (Sunblock/Moisturiser) SPF 30+

  • Benefits: SPF moisturizes and protects using safe micronized zinc-oxide.
  • Skin Type: All skin types
  • Directions: After cleansing, treating and moisturizing, apply 1-2 pumps in AM. Repeat as needed or with perspiration and/or water exposure.
  • Quick Tip: Wear everyday, even on cloudy days, SPF is essential to protect against damaging UVA and UVB rays.
  • Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 5%, Titanium Dioxide 10%
  • Learn more...


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