Interview transcription:

We interviewed Dr Penelope Pratsou to find out what causes melanoma.

How do you get melanoma?

Penelope Pratsou: Melanoma boils down to sun exposure, genetics and a predisposition to fair skin, blue eyes, blonde or red hair. Basically, the kind of skin that struggles to tan, easily burns and often has freckles.

The first step to feeling in charge of your skin is to book an initial consultation


What is the main cause of melanoma?

Penelope Pratsou: The most significant cause of melanoma that we see is due to excessive sun exposure. By excessive, I am referring to those brief but powerful bursts of sunlight that you may experience during a two week holiday abroad. The use of sunbeds is also a contributing factor that can increase your risk of melanoma quite significantly.

If you have any of the symptoms or conditions that we’ve just discussed, we invite you to book a consultation with Dr Penelope Pratsou where she’ll be able to assess your condition and give you a suitable treatment plan.

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About the author

Dr Penelope Pratsou | Consultant Dermatologist

MBChB, MRCP (UK) (Dermatology)

I’m Dr Penelope Pratsou, a skilled independent Consultant Dermatologist based in Berkshire. I have specialist expertise in the diagnosis and management of all skin cancers, and in performing mole checks. I’m a trained skin surgeon and remove skin cancers, moles, skin tags, cysts and warts.

I also have invaluable experience in dealing with all skin conditions, from the common skin complaints of acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis, to the rarer and more complex skin problems, having seen it all through years of NHS work.

After I obtained my Membership to the Royal College of Physicians, I undertook rigorous specialist training in dermatology, before being appointed as a Consultant Dermatologist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading. There, I helped set up and lead a busy clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of suspected skin cancer. I was also actively involved in supervising and training both dermatology and GP trainees.

Alongside my increasingly busy private practice, I have maintained an NHS practice in Oxford in order to continue to engage with challenging cases and to develop my specialist interest in skin allergy.