As dermatologists, a common question we’re asked by our clients and patients is ‘When to get a mole checked?’ The simple answer is, if you’re worried or concerned about a mole, then it’s time to get it checked out.
Who should get their moles checked?
The main factors that increase the risk of melanoma and skin cancers are:
- Personal or family history of skin cancers.
- Above average sun exposure and/or sunburn episodes in childhood.
- A large number of moles.
- Age over 50.
We recommend that everyone with 2 or more of the above should have their skin checked at least every 12 months. By doing this you can find out what benign moles you have and know how to identify, if you develop, new normal or abnormal moles. If there is family history of melanoma or skin cancer, it is a good idea to consider getting your check every 6 months.
One of the first things a dermatologist will ask you is the precise history of any mole you are worried about. It’s an important part of assessing a mole because there are very specific changes that a skin cancer would go through as opposed to a normal mole.
Why getting your moles checked is important?
Firstly, let’s address the big concern and whilst it can be a worry if you are anxious about a mole, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have skin cancer. For your health and peace of mind it’s always best that you get a mole looked at.
Here’s three reasons why you should get a mole checked:
- If you, a partner or friend has noticed one of your moles has changed.
Although, it’s true that all moles normally change, they do so over a long period of time, for example over a year, two years or more. If the change has happened over 3-4 months, it may be a sign that something is wrong.
- If you get a new mole.
It’s quite normal for children, teenagers, and young adults to get new moles. However, from your mid 40s, the number of new moles declines significantly. If you are over 45 and a new mole develops, this could be suspicious, and it is worth asking us to check it for you.
- If a mole continues to itch, ooze or bleed beyond 6 weeks.
While many people think they must wait for the mole to itch, ooze or bleed, this is not the case. As far as Melanoma is concerned, which is one of the most dangerous skin cancers, these symptoms do not typically present themselves. Early detection of skin cancer is crucial in being able to cure the condition. Most frequently, itch and ooze represents benign irritation in a mole. However, this usually settles within 6 weeks. If these symptoms persist, a check is advised.
If you’re worried about a mole and want to get it checked out, then book a Mole Check today.
How to get moles checked?
With any mole concern, nobody should have to wait or worry, we firmly believe in ‘Early detection, Life Protection’. Our dermatologists can check out any mole worries you have without the need for a GP referral.
We can complete a full body mole check using advanced early detection called dermoscopy, which is carried out by a trained dermoscopy specialist only. This provides instant peace of mind with no waiting for reports and can set out a plan of action if required.
To book an appointment or to make an enquiry, you can call our experienced team on 01603 298395 or book a mole check online now.