The mole truth: Should you worry about your moles?
Did you know that we all have moles on our skin? Those little brown dots are simply small groups of cells that have clustered together on your skin. They’re usually harmless, but it’s never a bad idea to check yours out.
Why do we have moles?
Moles can appear at birth or later in life and on any part of your body. While, on average, we all have around 10 moles there are many people with over 40.
Common types of moles include:
- Congenital moles
These types of moles are present at birth. Although they’re nothing to be worried about, they do need to be protected as they can increase your risk of skin cancer.
- Acquired moles
These types of moles are acquired during your youth – usually due to excessive sun exposure. Like congenital moles, they carry risk but most won’t develop into skin cancer.
- Atypical moles
Atypical moles tend to run in families and are easy to identify. They’re usually dark in colour and unusual in size and shape – and typically on the larger side. If you have atypical moles, it’s important to take extra care of them to protect against skin cancer.
Moles can also appear or fade away as a result of hormonal changes in the body. For example, moles can become darker during pregnancy; increase in number during adolescence, and decrease in number or disappear from the age of 40.
Checking your skin
It’s important to check your skin for new moles or changes to existing moles. New moles or unexpected changes can highlight new risks or skin cancer. However, there’s no need to panic before seeing your doctor. Moles can change in a matter of weeks or months are not usually cancerous.
We recommend checking your skin using the ABCDE of moles, visiting a medical professional should any of the following occur:
- Asymmetry – When one half of the mole doesn’t look like the other
- Border irregularity – When a mole has a scalloped or poorly defined border
- Colour variety – When a mole consists of multiple shades of black, white, red, brown and/or blue.
- Diameter – When a mole is larger than that of a pencil eraser
- Elevated or enlarged – When a mole changes in shape or size
Protecting your skin
Moles are a fact of life – but you can protect your health and your skin by taking good care of yourself. The best way to reduce your risk of skin cancer is by taking extra care in the sun. We recommend avoiding midday sunshine and covering up where possible. It’s also vital that you protect your skin with a high factor SPF. Skincare ranges like Heliocare range come with SPF50 to protect your skin from everyday UV attack.
Treatments like our Edermaroller Collagen Therapy are also ideal for repairing any damage to your skin. Find out more over on our Edermaroller Collagen treatment page.
Has a mole ever caused you to worry? If so, share your story with us over on Twitter @APSkincare