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Skin Surveillance, Sun Damage & Skin Cancer

During your appointment I will carry out a full skin assessment with additional detailed assessment of moles using dermoscopy. 

By the end of the consultation you will feel confident in monitoring your skin and be provided with a personalised strategy for ongoing monitoring as well as skin care advice on UV protection and ingredient focused skin care to address specific concerns. 



Sun-damaged skin

Age spots, uneven pigmentation, melasma, moles, wrinkles, fine lines, skin laxity and spider veins are all signs of sun damage. Depending on your Fitzpatrick skin type the amount of time you can spend in the sun without burning will vary. But it is important to realise that damage can occur without creating a noticeable sunburn.


How to prevent sun-damage and skin cancer

I always explain to patients that there are some risk factors you have no control over- these would be your genetics, the number of moles and your skin type. But it is important that you understand whether you are at risk, and you are you need to be proactive and regularly check your skin with help from a dermatologist if you are overwhelmed or unsure. The one factor you do have control over is to limit your UV exposure and avoid tanning and sunburn. Skin cancer mutations are caused by UV damage to DNA so it is critical that exposure to UV is limited. It’s normal to feel guilty about excessive UV exposure in the past, but its never too late to adopt healthy skin behavior practice. 


It is a fact that exposure to UV light causes skin cancer and we are all aware of the need to limit our UV exposure to protect our skin.  Sunscreens with a high sun protection factor (SPF) help to block UVB and prevent burning of the skin and UV damage. Modern sunscreens are sleek multi-tasking products and a world away from their sticky unpleasant precursors.  

Mineral Vs Chemical Sunscreen

In recent years there has been an increasing awareness of the potential health and environmental consequences of potential exposure to chemicals found within sunscreens Dermatologists and sunscreen manufacturers have called for caution and the need for further evidenced based research to further clarify these questions.   However,  this has resulted in increased popularity of mineral sunscreens with many more products being available to consumers. Non-nano sized mineral sunscreens  provide very good coverage against UVA, UVB and HEVL. These agents have an advantage for people with sensitive or allergy prone skin as they are less likely to induce itchy skin reactions. Also they have long been recommended for children to try to reduce any potential chemical exposure. 

Understanding the protection offered by sunscreen

The SPF on your sunscreen label refers to the level of protection from UVB. UVB is felt to be most responsible for sunburn and has strong links to melanoma and basal cell skin cancers. Skin also needs protection from UVA which is able to cause the same cancer-causing damage to your cells and actually penetrate deeper into the skin layers, making it the culprit for causing photo aging damage. UVA protection level is usually listed as a 5* or UVA shield rating on the product packaging. Blue light or high energy visible light (HEVL) protection is also important, especially for people struggling with areas of hyperpigmentation.  In order to get this broad-spectrum coverage against UVA and UVB and HEVL,  products will often ‘pick and mix’ different chemical sunscreen and reflective agents. 

How can we help prevent sun-damage and skin cancer?

Apply SPF 50+ sunscreen- the higher SPF the better, as studies have shown that on average people will apply less than half the amount of sunscreen required.

Contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide which work by reflecting back the UV from the surface of the skin like a mirror. Newer reflective sunscreens have used nano-particle technology to make the reflective agents smaller and easier to apply to the skin and less likely to leave white streaks.

Reflective Sunscreens

Treatment Of Sun Damaged Skin

The ingredients that can be found in over the counter products I have listed below all help treating sun-damaged skin in different ways:

In flight beauty - Why should we fly make-up free?

The in-flight environment can be very challenging- air-circulation and air-conditioning creates low humidity levels in the cabin. The combination of the stress of traveling and the challenging environment create the perfect storm for skin breakouts. I always recommend travelling make-up free to prevent exacerbating the drying effect of the environment on your skin and also to avoid clogging the skin and triggering breakouts. Make-up will also harbour environmental pollutants that need to be removed.

Skin Cancer

Dr Catherine Borysiewicz has a specialist interest in skin surveillance strategies and the early detection of skin cancers and pre-cancers –including mole mapping skin surveillance. She was lead physician for skin cancer within her NHS practice- managing the most complex skin cancer patients. Her extensive experience managing skin cancer and melanoma in both her NHS and private practice ensures you are in safe hands. 


Pre-cancerous skin changes

Basal cell cancers

Squamous cell cancers


Rare skin cancers

Experience managing the most complex skin cancer cases and works with a network of specialists across London 

Histiocytic disorders

If you have a concern related to skin cancer, it is important to have your skin checked by a dermatologist to exclude the possibility of skin cancer. You can use this form to send us an enquiry and one of the team will call you back to schedule an appointment.

Contact us about skin cancer

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