Everyone has moles on their body somewhere. They're simply collections of skin cells that are usually darker than your normal skin colour due to increased melanin in the mole's location, although there are several different types which vary slightly in their appearance. While they're generally nothing to worry about, there are some occasions where it's worth getting a check to make sure a mole isn't cancerous.
Although skin cancer is one of the most easily treated forms, it's still important to catch it as early as possible and act without delay. To help you with that, these are some of the things you should look out for when doing skin checks on the moles on your body.
The younger you are, the more likely you are to develop harmless new moles – the hormone changes during the teenage years, in particular, are often responsible for a few new moles appearing. However, it becomes less common as you age, so you should get any new ones checked. There's an especially high chance of problems over 20, increasing further beyond 30 years of age.
Ordinary moles normally go unnoticed and don't cause any problems unless you're bothered about them for cosmetic reasons. If a mole is itchy or painful, it's a sign that something isn't right. Sometimes this discomfort is accompanied by bleeding, which is also a sign you need to get the mole seen to.
Moles normally change gradually over time, perhaps fading or darkening subtly or changing in size slightly, until they disappear after 50 years or so. Most of the time, these changes happen so slowly you'll barely notice them, if at all.
Cancerous moles, however, change more quickly, so you should notice it happening. They might rapidly grow larger, become darker suddenly, or change shape in a short space of time. If any of these things happen, you might have a melanoma, so make an appointment for checking. It's worth paying attention to the moles on your body and giving them a quick look over every so often to help your awareness of changes.
Uneven or irregular moles
Unlike benign moles, melanomas tend to have a mixture of different colours, and if you look at them closely, you should be able to spot an array of shades. Another classic sign is an uneven appearance between the two halves of the mole, where one might have a different texture, colours or border to the other.Share
25 July 2017
Thanks for visiting my health blog! My name's Caroline. A few years ago, I started to notice changes in my appearance. My hair was dull, my eyes were circled with dark rings, and my skin was looking like it used to when I was a teenager. When cosmetic treatments didn't fix things, I realised the problem wasn't on the outside of my body—it was on the inside! That's when I started researching how to keep myself healthy. To my surprise, improving my internal health really worked. A few years down the line, I feel and look better than ever, and I'm ready to share what I've learned with all of you.