Dialog Box

Skin Health Institute

Spot Diagnosis - A Podcast on Skin Disease and Dermatology



One in six initial presentations to general practitioners are about skin problems (1), yet dermatology teaching in medical schools is limited and variable (2). Spot Diagnosis is a podcast series that examines the skin complaints commonly encountered by general practitioners. It is tailored for all medical professionals, including medical students.

The series provides evidence-based, up-to-date medical education & information aimed at upskilling medical practitioners in treating skin complaints, in order to improve the skin health of our communities.

Season 1 of Spot Diagnosis features hosts Associate Professor Alvin Chong and Dr Tom Kovitwanichkanont and Season 2 features Associate Professor Alvin Chong, Dr Blake Mumford and Dr Aaron Robinson. Each week our hosts speak with leading dermatologists who have sub-specialty expertise in those skin conditions being addressed. 

Season 3 features Associate Professor Alvin Chong, Dr Blake Mumford and Dr Anneliese Willems.  It is presented by dermatologists and features expert guests that are leading innovation in their respective fields.

Season 4 features Associate Professor Alvin Chong, Dr Anneliese Willems and Dr Sarah Adamson. 

We hope you enjoy the podcast - remember to subscribe below, and rate and review it. All feedback is welcomed. 

The Skin Health Institute would like to thank our exclusive Institute Partner Melbourne Pathology for their support of the Spot Diagnosis Podcast.


Click the links below to start listening!


Becoming a Spot Diagnosis subscriber is one of the best things you can do to further your dermatology education. Not only will you be informed when a new episode is released, but you'll get exclusive access to additional resources such as transcripts, recommended reading and research papers.


GP's can receive 9 RACGP CPD points for listening to Season 1 and 10 RACGP CPD points for listening to Season 2 & 3, and the podcast is also ACRRM accredited. Further information is available in subscriber resources. Simply subscribe above to receive access. 


For additional education on the topics covered in Spot Diagnosis and more, please have a look at our RACGP and ACRRM accredited GP Workshops here.




In this episode we’ll discuss biologic medications and how they can be used in diseases of the skin, alongside our special guests, A/Prof Peter Foley and Dr Karen Luetsch. We’ll explore what these drugs are, their potential side effects and how they’re prescribed, with a particular focus on psoriasis and eczema


S3.e1: Principles of topical treament : lotions and potions

In this episode we discuss the topical therapies used in the management of skin disease. We explore the differences between creams, lotions, gels, foams and ointments. Dr Blake Mumford and Dr Anneliese Willems discuss the finer points of how and when to use each topical treatment with guest expert Dr Sarah Brennand. We also explore common myths about topical corticosteroids and troubleshoot common questions as to their use.


In this episode we explore birthmarks alongside guest expert Dr Susan Robertson. We discuss naevus simplex, port wine stains, congenital naevi and Becker’s naevus, and how to tell these all apart! We also discuss indications for specialist intervention and various treatment options available for the different types of birthmark.

S3.E3: Hidradenitis Suppurativa

In this episode we explore Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) alongside guest expert A/Prof Erin McMeniman. HS can be easy to overlook and carries a heavy burden on its sufferers. In this episode, we discuss how HS may present, what causes it, how it can be managed as well as some emerging therapies for its treatment.

S3.E4: Cutaneous drug reactions

In this episode, we explore cutaneous drug reactions with guest expert Dr Michelle Goh. We cover the benign to the severe, potentially life-threatening, ways in which these can present. We discuss the pathophysiology behind different drug reactions, common drug culprits, assessment for severity and how the different drug reactions may be managed.

s3.e5: ask me anything- part one

In this special episode, we’ll answer a variety of questions submitted by our listeners with the help of our panel: Specialist Dermatologists A/Prof Alvin Chong and Dr Belinda Welsh, GP Dr Naveen ‘Sunny’ Singh and GP Trainee Dr Karen Freilich. 

Does the perfect skincare routine exist? Ever wondered what the difference is between a serum and a toner? We also explore how to treat dandruff and cradle caps, how to approach tricky facial rashes, how to manage nappy rash and the role of skin checks in children. 

S3.E6: covid and the skin: an update

Two and a half years into the pandemic and the landscape has vastly changed. In this episode, we will explore our understanding of COVID and the skin, how it has evolved, and what new information is available. Two guests will join us: Associate Professor Esther Freeman and Professor Allen Cheng, both experts in their respective fields. 


In this 2-part episode, we’ll explore a range of hair loss disorders with special guests, Dr Jane Li and Dr Jack Green. We’ll delve into hair anatomy and physiology, and what can go wrong. 

In Part 1, we’ll focus on diffuse non-scarring alopecias, particularly androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium.

In Part 2, we’ll focus on patchy causes of hair loss including alopecia areata, discoid lupus erythematosus, lichen planopilaris and tinea capitus.


In this episode, we explore autoimmune blistering conditions with guest expert Assoc. Prof Johannes Kern. We cover pemphigus and pemphigoid diseases: what causes them, clinical presentations, how they are diagnosed and treatment options.  


In this episode, we explore vasculitis with guest expert A/Prof Rob Kelly. We’ll discuss the causes of vasculitis, different subtypes including small vessel, medium vessel and large vessel disease, how we might investigate for vasculitis and the variety of treatment options available.


In this 2-part episode, we explore autoimmune disorders of connective tissue with guest experts A/Prof Mandana Nikpour and A/Prof Alvin Chong. In part 1, we focus on lupus erythematosis including its subtypes, clinical presentation, investigations, and management. In part 2, we focus on dermatomyositis and systemic sclerosus including clinical presentation, investigations, and management.

S3. E13: ask me anything- Part two

In this special episode, we’ll answer a fresh mix of questions submitted by our listeners with the help of our returning guest panel: Specialist Dermatologists A/Prof Alvin Chong and Dr Belinda Welsh, GP Dr Naveen ‘Sunny’ Singh and GP Trainee Dr Karen Freilich. 

Ever wondered whether cosmetic laser is really safe? Or how to get rid of dark circles under the eyes? We also discuss how to manage facial redness, prevent scar formation and manage itch in children. We’ll also explore the endless mineral versus chemical sunscreen debate, whether there is a difference and what we should choose. 


S2.E10: Viral warts

Viral warts! Probably not a podcast topic suitable for consumption on the train commute but an important and common problem nonetheless. Join Dr. Blake Mumford and Dr. Aaron Robinson as they quiz Dr. Mark Darling on all issues related to the humble wart, including those located on the genitals. We’ll cover their dark history, the different types of warts, and the armaments available for treatment as well as many other warty issues.


What’s the difference between a freckle and a solar lentigo? What common disorder of hyperpigmentation can be found on Morgan Freeman’s cheeks? Find out the answers to these questions and more on this episode of Spot Diagnosis, as Dr. Michelle Rodrigues, Dr. Blake Mumford, and Dr. Aaron Robinson discuss this important topic.


Skin pigmentation disorders can have a profound impact on the mental wellbeing of those affected. Not all white patches of skin are vitiligo! Tune in as Dr. Blake Mumford and Dr. Aaron Robinson discuss disorders of hypopigmentation and depigmentation with Dr. Michelle Rodrigues. Learn about how fungal infections can cause hypopigmentation and exciting new treatments for vitiligo.

S2.E7: Childhood exanthems

Childhood exanthems present a quandary: how do you differentiate the rash of meningococcal septicaemia from the non-specific viral exanthem? What’s a Koplik spot and what about Forcheimer spots? And what about recognizing infections that can affect the foetus? Learn how to recognise childhood exanthems and enanthems with Professor John Su, a paediatrician and dermatologist.

S2.E6: scabies

Scabies, you’re not a true dermatologist until you’ve had it. Listen in to experts A/Prof Alvin Chong and Professor Andrew Steer discuss scabies, a scourge that has been with humanity for over 2,500 years. Learn where to look for scabies mite burrows, what makes you itch, and war time experiments undertaken to work out exactly how the mites are spread… Are you scratching yourself already?


In this episode Dr Belinda Welsh discusses rosacea from the perspective of a dermatologist, and her first-hand experience as a patient. The subtypes of rosacea, approach to diagnosis, and treatment strategies for rosacea are artfully explored by dependable co-hosts Associate Professor Alvin Chong and Dr Blake Mumford.

s2.e4: contact dermatitis

What’s the difference between allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis? Do you refer to a dermatologist or allergist for contact dermatitis patch testing? What are the common allergens that cause allergic contact dermatitis? These questions and many others will be answered by world-renowned contact dermatitis expert Associate Professor Rosemary Nixon in this episode of the Spot Diagnosis.


This episode covers the spectrum of keratinocyte atypia from actinic keratosis, to Bowen’s disease, and finally squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). SCC is the second most common skin cancer and about 600 Australians die from SCC every year. Join Dr Blake Mumford, Associate Professor Alvin Chong, and Dr Michelle Goh as they discuss their approach to actinic keratoses, the best management for high-risk SCCs, and everything else you need to know about these common skin lesions.


This episode covers everything you need to know about how to protect yourself from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. We also dive into public health campaigns and their role in skin cancer, focusing on Australia’s world renown SunSmart program. Associate Professor Alvin Chong and Dr Blake Mumford discuss the finer points of sunscreen use and debunk common myths with guest experts Associate Professor Peter Foley and Ms. Shannon Jones.


BCCs are one of the keratinocyte carcinomas, the other being SCC. These are cancers that arise from keratinocytes, the cells that make up a vast majority of the epidermis. BCCs are the most common type of skin cancer. In fact, BCCs are the most common type of cancer, period. To give you some perspective, in Australia, the incidence of keratinocyte carcinomas, BCCs and SCCs, is five times all other cancers combined. 

It is estimated that 70% of Australians will have at least one skin cancer by the time they reach age 70. Our guest specialist for this episode is Dr Michelle Goh.



The COVID-19 virus is deadly. It is insidious, and it is going to be with us for a very long time. How do we continue to provide a clinical service in the grips of a pandemic? What are the cutaneous manifestations of COVID-19? How common are these cutaneous manifestations? What does it mean when a patient presents with perniosis in this time? What about our patients who are immunosuppressed on biologics, what do we do with them?

These are complex and difficult questions, and to help us answer these, we are very fortunate to have with us two eminent dermatologists from the USA, Professor Kanade Shinkai from UCSF and Dr Esther Freeman at Harvard.

S1.E9: Urticaria (Hives)

In this episode, we discuss urticaria which is otherwise known as hives, it’s a common condition that affects about 25% of the population at some point in their lives.

Urticaria is a common skin condition in which we see transient, smooth, raised, and very itchy areas of skin. Often you see small lumps in the skin, often the size of a mosquito bite, but they can actually be much larger and hives can sometimes group together and form large areas of swelling in the skin known as giant urticaria.

Associate Professor Alvin Chong & Dr Tom Kovi discuss urticaria with a specialist dermatologist, Dr Katherine Armour. As you will hear, Dr Armour has a special interest in urticaria.

S1.E7: Eczema (Part 1)
S1.E8: ECZEMA (Part 2)

Eczema (also called atopic dermatitis) is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease with a greater prevalence in children than adults, although it can affect any age. Estimated population prevalence is 20.3% in 1-year-olds but decreases to 16% in 4-year-olds, highlighting the fact that a significant proportion of children outgrow eczema. The disease is important not only because it is common, but also due to the significant impact it has on patient quality of life, ability to participate in school or work and their mental wellbeing.

In the first episode, Associate Professor Alvin Chong  & Dr Tom Kovi discuss the epidemiology of eczema, what causes it and the clinical aspects with Associate Professor John Su.  In the second episode, they carefully consider the treatment and management of eczema. 


We study acne in this episode with Dr Belinda Welsh - a common skin problem that affects almost everyone at some time during their life. Acne is a skin condition that has a number of causes, with a number of factors leading to it. It's extremely common especially in adolescents and young adults. Eight out of ten Australians will develop acne during their life with about 5% experiencing severe acne.

This episode explores 

  • what causes acne, 
  • how to recognise the different types of acne, and 
  • discusses the treatment options now available.

Associate Professor Alvin Chong  & Dr Tom Kovi discuss melanoma with Associate Professor Victoria Mar, Head of the Victorian Melanoma Service. Because melanoma is such a significant topic, it is being covered in two episodes. The first looks at the epidemiology and diagnosis of melanoma. In the second episode, we talk about its treatment and prevention – and a little about the use of artificial intelligence.


Psoriasis is a common chronic immune-mediated disease that presents primarily on the skin, but it's often associated with other systemic manifestations affecting many body organs, particularly the joints.  It has been estimated that the incidence of psoriasis ranges anything from less than half of 1% up to more than 10%, but the most widely accepted figure is that psoriasis affects somewhere between 2% and 3% of the general population.

In these two episodes Associate Professor Alvin Chong and Dr Tom Kovi discuss psoriasis with Associate Professor Peter Foley, a leading expert in the treatment of psoriasis. 

Because psoriasis is such a large topic, this information is spread over two episodes. The first (Psoriasis - Part 1) discusses what psoriasis is, epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and comorbidities. The second (Psoriasis - Part 2) discusses the management of psoriasis.

S1.E1: The Skin Eaters (Tinea)

"Superficial fungal infection, or tinea, is really common. In fact, it is one of the most common forms of infection, affecting up to 25% of humans," says Associate Professor Alvin Chong. In this episode,  Associate Professor Alvin Chong and Dr Tom Kovitwanichkanont discuss one of the most common skin problems: fungal infections of the skin, hair and nails known as tinea.  Tinea has a variety of clinical manifestations and affects all age groups, ranging from tinea pedis in adults to tinea capitis in pre-pubertal children.



[1] The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Curriculum for Australian General Practice 2016: DE16 - Dermatology contextual unit. East Melbourne, VIC: RACGP. Date unknown. Available at https://www.racgp.org.au/education/education-providers/curriculum/contextual-units/presentations/de16-dermatology [accessed 20 Dec 2019]

[2] Gupta A, Chong AH, Scarff CE, Huilgol SC. Dermatology teaching in Australian Medical Schools. Australas J Dermatol. 2017 Aug;58(3):e73-e78. doi: 10.1111/ajd.12486. Epub 2016 May 4.