Almost all common skin conditions, such as lesions are benign and harmless. However, it is important to watch out for any noticeable changes in size or colour of any condition, which can indicate changes. If you notice any changes, or are under any doubt, please book an appointment with our specialist doctors.
Don’t delay – get it checked out! 023 9262 7766
Checking your skin
You should check your skin every few months for any new moles that develop, or any changes to existing moles. This is particularly important after your teenage years, when new moles become less common, and especially if you skin is prone to moles. Changes to a mole may be an early indication of a type of skin cancer called melanoma. Be aware that a mole can change in a matter of weeks or months.
If in doubt – get it checked out! For appointments call us on 023 9262 7766
What do I look for?
- Moles with uneven colouring – most moles only have one or two colours, but melanomas have lots of different shades
- Moles with an uneven or ragged edge – moles are usually circular or oval with a smooth border
- Bleeding, itching, red, inflamed (swollen) or crusty moles
- Moles that get a lot bigger – most moles are no bigger than the width of a pencil
The ABCDE method
A helpful way to remember what to look for is to use the ABCDE method:
- A – asymmetry
- B – border irregularity
- C – colour change
- D – diameter
- E – elevated (raised) or enlarged
Moles can occur anywhere on your body, and most happen on the back, legs, arms and face. If you notice any changes to your moles or skin, please see your GP or book a consultation with us at Portsdown Minor Surgery.
While most moles are benign (non-cancerous), in rare cases they can develop into melanoma. Melanoma is a serious and aggressive form of skin cancer. Melanomas usually appear as a dark, fast-growing spot where there was not one before, or a pre-existing mole that changes size, shape or colour and bleeds, itches or reddens. The main treatment for melanoma is surgery, although your treatment will depend on your circumstances. If melanoma is diagnosed and treated at an early stage then surgery is usually successful, although you may need follow-up care to prevent melanoma recurring.
If you have a lot of moles, it’s important to take extra care in the sun to prevent cancerous moles. Although it is not always possible to prevent melanoma, avoiding overexposure to UV light can reduce your chances of developing it. Check out our Skin Care tips. Top 10 Skin Care Tips
You can help protect yourself from sun damage if you:
- Stay in the shade when the sun is at its strongest (between 11am and 3pm)
- Cover up with clothes, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses
- Use a high-factor sunscreen (minimum SPF15) and reapply it regularly, particularly after swimming
- Avoid using sunlamps or sunbeds because they give out UV rays