Moles, brown spots and growths on the skin are usually harmless, but not always. If you have a certain type or large number of moles (more than 100), you are at greater risk of developing skin cancer.
The ABCDE method for checking moles is very useful but if in doubt, getting them professionally assessed is vital, says Sue Ibrahim. Sue, the nurse consultant in dermatology at Elan Medical Skin Clinics, has more than 30 years’ experience of assessing and removing moles using the latest advanced radio-wave technology. Click here to read reviews from her clients.
If you draw a line through the middle of a mole, the two sides will match, meaning it is symmetrical. Anything asymmetrical is a warning sign for melanoma.
A benign mole has smooth, even borders, unlike melanomas. The borders of an early melanoma tend to be uneven and the edges may be scalloped or notched.
Most benign moles are all one colour — often a single shade of brown. Having a variety of colours is another warning signal. A number of different shades of brown, tan or black could appear. A melanoma may also become red, white or blue.
Melanomas are usually larger in diameter than the eraser on your pencil tip (¼ inch or 6mm), but they may sometimes be smaller when first detected. If you are concerned, seek professional help.
Common, benign moles look the same over time. Be on the alert when a mole starts to evolve or change in any way. Any change in size, shape, colour, elevation, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting points to danger.
Help is at hand
Moles can be removed quickly and painlessly at one of our daily minor surgery clinics in Rayleigh, Essex and central London and we can also biopsy any suspicious skin lesions. If you have any concerns, book a dermatology consultation with Sue now.
Remember to use a broad spectrum sunscreen
Essex skin expert, Sue Ibrahim at Elan Medical Skin Clinic says the best way to enjoy the sunshine safely is to use a daily, broad spectrum sunscreen of factor 30 + and remember to apply it frequently and liberally thoroughly the day. The term broad spectrum means that the skin is equally protected against both UVA and UVB sunrays.
Elan Medical Skin Clinic stocks a number of broad spectrum sunscreens at an SPF 30 and 50 that are light, easy to apply and feel more like a BB cream than a sunscreen. Some are fragrance free, paraben free and oil free so they can be used on the most sensitive of skins. Some are even suitable for acne prone skins. We also stock sunscreens that are slightly tinted, leaving your skin with a natural sun kissed glow. And with prices from £14.50 it is not expensive to protect your skin.