More time and training needed for skin checks

ONLY one-half of GPs feel they have enough time to do a thorough skin check on their patients, a survey shows.

The survey of more than 400 health professionals found Australian GPs conduct on average more than 20 skin checks a month, but one-third are not confident they can correctly identify skin conditions caused by sun damage.

Although 73% felt adequately trained to conduct a thorough check, 54% did not have enough time to do so, according to the survey by Kantar Health.

GPs spent, on average, 10 minutes rather than the 15 they felt they needed.

Areas around the head, upper body, arms and legs were nearly always checked, with buttocks, bikini line and other regions often missed, the figures showed.

While 43% looked for changes and 39% for unusual skin conditions or irregular spots, only 15% looked for solar keratoses. 

Professor John Marley, from the University of Queensland’s Faculty of Health Sciences,