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New Zealand has one of the highest incidence rates of melanoma in the world, occurring in approximately 35 to 40 people per 100,000

Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer. New Zealand has one of the highest incidence rates of melanoma in the world, occurring in approximately 35 to 40 people per 100,000 population, each year.

Melanoma is less common than other skin cancers, e.g., basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, but it is estimated that four out of five skin cancer-related deaths in New Zealand are caused by melanoma.

Melanoma is usually curable when it’s detected and treated early. Once it has spread deeper into the skin or other parts of the body, it becomes much more difficult to treat and can be fatal.

How will I know if I have Melanoma?

Melanomas present in many different shapes, sizes, and colours which is why it is essential you get a new or changing lesion checked by a doctor or one of our dermoscopists. 

Melanoma can arise in an existing mole or be a completely new lesion. It often presents on the legs in women, the head and body in men, and the upper back in both sexes, but Melanoma can also appear in hard-to-spot places such as the nails, palms, and soles of the feet. 

Even if you have dark or very dark skin you can still develop Melanoma.

Reggae musician Bob Marley was diagnosed with melanoma under his toenail, which he’d attributed to a sporting injury. His Melanoma went untreated, and it eventually spread to other areas of his body, he tragically died at the age of 36.

Both NAEVUS Mole mapping and Total Body Imaging (TBI) are specifically designed to help detect abnormal-looking moles at an earlier stage. Ask one of our team about these services.

How can I prevent Melanoma?

Come and see one of our team who can discuss your individual skin cancer risks, diagnose lesions, and give you a personal treatment plan.

Prevention is key – Protecting yourself from sun / Ultraviolet exposure will help prevent further sun damage. 

  • Avoid direct sunlight during times of peak UV radiation levels; particularly from 10 am to 4 pm between September and April and do not get sunburned.
  • Protection of exposed areas of skin using appropriate, densely-woven clothing, e.g. long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed or flapped hats, UV-protective sunglasses (ideally wrap-around style)
  • Application of broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen (at least SPF30* and preferably SPF50+); it is recommended that sunscreen is applied 20 minutes before going outside, reapplied 10–20 minutes after going outside (the “two coat” approach), and every two hours after that
  • Unnecessary UV radiation exposure via artificial tanning device use, e.g. sunbeds, should be avoided unless under medical supervision for certain health conditions e.g. psoriasis.

See our Sunscreens page for more information.



To find out more about or treatment plans and fees please visit our pricing page.

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Bookings are available online from our contact page. If you are unable to book an appointment online please email or call us.

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Skin cancer is easily treated if caught early.

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