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Molescreen PDT specialises in diagnosing and treating skin cancer and sunspots. Queensland is the skin cancer capital
of the world. Most people who have been raised in Queensland will have some form of skin cancer during their lives.

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Black Salve or Cansema

Black Salve or Cansema : Medieval Quackery?

Black Salve has been touted as a cancer cure for many years yet it has never gained any credibility with the medical world.

Last week the Daily Mail in the Uk published an article showing horrific outcomes from a lady using Black Salve.Click the image to see the article.

black salve image

Wikipedia is also very dismissive when it says:

“Black salve, also known by the brand name Cansema, is a dangerous and controversial alternative cancer treatment…….The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has listed Cansema as a “fake cancer cure” and warns consumers to avoid it,click here to read the article.”

It also mentions:

Cancer salves were first documented as a form of quackery in a 1955 Time article:

“A 37-year-old housewife had a skin condition that later (at Duke) proved not to be a cancer. Convinced that it was, she had gone to a backwoods healer, who applied a salve. Soon a quarter-sized hole disfigured her nose, opened up the nasal cavity. Duke’s plastic surgeons had to build her a new nose.”

Gentle Daylight PDT offers a safe, scar free treatment to sun damaged skin, a consultation will allow us to assess if Gentle Daylight PDT is right for your skin.

Selfie graphic

The Difficulty Of Melanoma Assessment

The Difficulty Of Melanoma Assessment

It is very difficult to pick a melanoma from it’s appearance to the naked eye. One of these is a melanoma, the other is not.
melanoma removal brisbane


Using the ABCDE tool each would be determined to be a melanoma.
(A = Asymmetric, B = Border is notched or irregular, C = more than 4 colours, D = Diameter over 5 mm, E = Evolving)

However it is more accurate to assess the skin with a dermatoscope which clearly shows that only one of these lesions is a melanoma, the other is a seborrhoec keratosis which is a benign age related lesion. A dermatoscope is essentially a skin microscope that requires skill and experience to use.

PDT Treatment For Sun Damaged Skin

How PDT Can Treat Sun Damaged Skin

Most Queenslanders Over The Age Of 35 Have Sun Damaged Skin

We all care about our looks to a certain degree but even if you aren’t at all self conscious about your skin if you grew up in Australia, particularly Queensland and are over 35, you will likely have sun damaged skin.

PhotoDynamic Therapy Brisbane

Sun damaged skin can present in many different forms from what we call Sunspots(unsightly scaley spots on our face,top of the head,arms and hands) to Bowens Disease, Thin Basal Cell Carcinomas and other forms of Actinic disease caused by over exposure to the sun. All of these skin conditions can turn into skin cancer. Dr Johnson says from his experience of treating sun damaged skin for many years that 30% of sunspots turn into skin cancer if untreated.

Daylight PhotoDynamic Therapy

Below is a classic example of how we repair sun damaged skin:

To read the frequently asked questions about PDT please click here

If you are concerned about your skin, book a consultation with Dr Ian Johnson, Brisbane’s PDT specialist. Call 07 3862 3144


photodynamic therapy

Sun Damaged Skin

A Classic Example Of How The Sun Damages Your Skin

Queenslanders Need To Understand What The Sun Is Doing To Their Skin

“The photograph has made a lot of people think twice about not wearing sun cream.”

Click Here To Read The Full Story On The Huffington Post

UVA rays

To read the frequently asked questions about PDT please click here

Myths About Your Skin – Myth # 1 – A Qld Tan Is A Sign Of Healthy Skin

Is A Tan A Sign Of Healthy Skin In Queensland?

No, it isn’t. A suntan is the way your skin defends itself after being exposed to UV radiation.

Yes the sun’s ultraviolet radiation(UV) is the best source of vitamin D but a tan is a sign you have had too much and once you have been sunburnt(often this happens before a tan) the damage has been done.

The UV level in Australia varies dramatically, for example here is Brisbane’s annual UV profile:

Brisbane UV Index

and here is Sydney’s:

Sydney UV index

You will note from the above Brisbane peaks at 13 and Sydney peaks at 11 and in Spring, Brisbane’s range is between 8 and 11 when Sydney experiences 5-10.

So sunbathing in Brisbane and Qld as a whole is far more dangerous than Sydney for example.

Dark skinned people(as opposed to well tanned people) do tend to experience less skin damage than lighter skinned people though the death of Bob Marley from skin cancer was not an isolated case. Darker skin tends to have more melanin. Melanin is a pigment that helps to slow the damage of your DNA when exposed to UV radiation.

When a lighter skinned person sunbathes their skin makes more melanin to fight back against the UV rays of the sun. This image below is taken with equipment that demonstrates how melanin develops in clusters in the form of freckles.

Melanin from UV rays

A suntan is a sign that skin has already been damaged.

Hugh Jackman’s 5th Melanoma Surgery

Hugh’s By No Means A Prime Candidate For Skin Cancer

hugh jackman 5th bcc
As reported here, Hugh Jackman has previously had 4 Basal Cell Carcinomas removed from his shoulder.

The world is full of celebrities that just want to milk the limelight and give nothing back, particularly wanting to appear bullet-proof and “special”. So the fact that Hugh is going public with his skin cancer issues in order to highlight the necessity to get regular check ups is to be applauded. Hugh is 47 and his life in the sun would be very similar to most other people here in Queensland. He probably played sport,surfed,worked outdoors with limited sun protection either from sun cream, a wide brimmed hat or clothing. He grew up in an era where the effects of the Australian sun were not fully understood and his recent skin cancer discoveries are a result of that period of overexposing his skin to the sun.

Hugh has just gone public again with his 5th melanoma removal and again reiterated the need for regular checkups, the ABC report is here. The Queensland sun is the most harmful within Australia hence it is the skin cancer capital of the world, Hugh grew up in NSW and even has some Greek blood(olive skin DNA) so he is by no means a prime candidate for skin cancer.

Barnaby Joyce – Melanoma

Barnaby Joyce Melanoma

An article published here in the Courier Mail last week, written by Barnaby Joyce, tells his story of recently discovering melanoma, this is his conclusion:

So here is my tip. Go get yourself checked out. If you claim that marvellous Celtic heritage do it even sooner.

If you think there is a mysterious reason people in the country wear big hats, it is because they like the idea of keeping their nose and ears. Heavy shirts nowadays come in many colours, wear one. Sunglasses don’t have to be designer, they just have to stop you getting a marble for an eye.

Stories like this are more than an everyday occurrence in Queensland. Most people living in Queensland do not take sun protection seriously enough, regardless of your views on politics Barnaby’s point is well made. Even more importantly don’t stop nagging your family and kids to protect their skin.

In The USA Indoor Tanning Is Still Going On…..But Not For Much Longer

Photo credits to

A solarium (otherwise known as a sunbed, sunlamp or tanning booth) uses electricity to produce concentrated artificial ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Users either lie down on a UV bed, stand in front of a panel or angle a sun lamp over their skin.
These indoor tanning beds are said to deliver between 10 to 15 times more ultraviolet radiation than the midday sun and according to the American Academy of Dermatology, people who use indoor tanning equipment face a 59 percent higher risk of melanoma than those who do not.

In Australia, commercial solariums were banned in all states and territories except Western Australia starting January 1, 2015.  According to Health Minister Kim Hames , the commercial sunbeds ban in Western Australia will come into effect on 1 January 2016.

While the ban is already in full effect for most of Australia, the United States Food and Drug Administration stated that about 1.6 million U.S. teenagers tan indoors each year at more than 33,000 tanning salons, gyms, spas and other facilities that offer sun lamps and tanning beds.
A report from the New York Times stated that tanning beds account for as many as 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the United States each year, including 6,000 cases of melanoma, the deadliest form.

As part of an ongoing government effort to reduce skin cancers linked to the devices, the FDA proposed barring everyone under 18 from using the use of sunlamp products (also commonly known as indoor tanning beds) on December 18, 2015. In addition, before their first tanning session and every six months thereafter, adult users over age 18 would have to sign a risk acknowledgement certification that states that they have been informed of the risks to health that may result from use of sunlamp products.
A second proposal from the agency would require manufacturers of tanning equipment to make additional changes to their machines, including: bolder, easier-to-read warnings and mandating an emergency shut off switch.

The proposed rules are available online at for public comment for 90 days.

To read the full FDA announcement, click here.

Rare Skin Cancer That Killed Bob Marley Can Now Be Detected



In 1977 when he injured his foot while playing soccer with some friends, Reggae legend Bob Marley decided to see a doctor after noticing that his wound was getting worse instead of healing. It was then that he was diagnosed with melanoma (a rare condition in people of African descent, but one that does occur).

Bob Marley’s medical records were never made public but he was said to have been diagnosed with acral melanoma under his toenails.

What is Acral Melanoma?

  • Acral melanoma (AM) is an uncommon melanoma subtype occurring on the palms, soles and under nails.
  • The incidence of AM is equal among races, but it is the most common melanoma subtype in dark-skinned populations due to the rarity of other melanoma subtypes.
  • Unlike other more common types of melanoma, it’s not caused by UV damage from the sun.
  • It is estimated to account for only 1–3% of cutaneous melanomas in Australia and up to 36% in dark-skinned populations.

In a study by Dr. Jennifer Stein, an associate professor in the department of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, Acral pigmented lesions, which have not been well studied in people with darker skin, were found on 30 percent of white patients and 40 percent of those with darker skin. The researchers also found that 44 percent of patients with the darkest skin had the lesions, compared with 28 percent of those with the lightest skin. Acral pigmented lesions were also associated with a higher number of moles, especially among minority patients.

Patients with Acral Melanoma most commonly present with lesions that have changed in size, colour or form, or that are bleeding, painful or itchy. The diagnosis of AM is often delayed because the patients have attributed their symptoms to much more common benign conditions, the most common being warts, fungal infections, haematomas and ulcers.

Clinically, AM can be pigmented and appear as a classical melanoma with asymmetry, border irregularity, colour variation, a diameter >6 mm and evolution of the lesion. However, a large proportion of AM is amelanotic, appearing pink in colour, and making diagnosis much more difficult. It can be as subtle as a change in skin texture, appear pink and nodular or ulcerated. As a consequence, AM can easily be misdiagnosed and a high index of suspicion is needed when managing lesions of the feet and hands.


The ideal method of diagnosis of melanoma should be complete excisional biopsy, however, the location of the melanoma may require alternatives.

Dermatoscopy of acral pigmented lesions is very difficult, but can be accomplished with diligent attention.

Initial confirmation of the suspicion can be done with a small wedge biopsy or small punch biopsy. Thin deep wedge biopsies can heal very well on acral skin, and small punch biopsies can give enough clue to the malignant nature of the lesion. Once this confirmatory biopsy is done a second complete excisional skin biopsy can be performed with a narrow surgical margin (1 mm). This second biopsy will determine the depth and invasiveness of the melanoma and will help to define what the final treatment will be.

If the melanoma involves the nail fold and the nail bed, complete excision of the nail unit might be required. Final treatment might require wider excision (margins of 0.5 cm or more), digital amputation, lymphangiogram with lymph node dissection, or chemotherapy.

To read more about Acral Melanoma, click here .

Play Amateur or professional sport. Cover up.


Nobody would deny that keeping fit and healthy is the way to live these days. Outdoor sport and outdoor fitness training however need precautions in Queensland, the skin cancer capital of the world and probably the outdoor exercise capital of the world.

Ultraviolet radiation is estimated to be one of the most important risk factors for non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers and athletes practicing outdoor sports receive considerable UV doses because of training and competition schedules with high sun exposure.

Large epidemiological studies showed that recreational activities such as sun exposure on the beach or during water sports were associated with an increased risk of basal cell carcinoma, whereas skiing has been shown to be at increased risk for squamous cell carcinoma. Risk factors of cutaneous melanoma have also been found to be more frequent in subjects practicing endurance outdoor sports.


Other studies have also found that the beach is no longer Australia’s biggest skin cancer danger.

According to research released by Cancer Council Australia, Australians are at the same risk of being sunburnt at sporting venues as they are at the beach.

The most recent National Sun Protection Survey showed that sporting venues are clearly linked with sun damage with 22% of Australians at sports grounds and centres getting sunburnt, which is just as high as the percentage of Australians at the beach, local lake or river who got sunburnt (22%). Other places where risk of sunburn was high included at public parks and gardens (12% of park visitors sunburnt), backyard pools (11% sunburnt) and at home or a friend’s place (10% sunburnt).

Protect Your Skin

So how should sports enthusiasts protect themselves from the dangers of sun exposure? Here are some sun protection measures recommended by the Cancer Council Australia.

1. Slip on some sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
2. Slop on broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ (or higher) sunscreen. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards. Sunscreen should never be used to extend the time you spend in the sun.
3. Slap on a hat — broad brim or legionnaire style to protect your face, head, neck and ears.
4. Seek shade.
5. Slide on some sunglasses — make sure they meet Australian standards.