Moles – small spots that appear on the skin – are extremely common. Most people have at least one or two on their bodies. Usually brown in colour, moles tend to sit on the skin forever without causing any issues.
That isn’t always the case, though. While you shouldn’t worry yourself over every mole or freckle, it’s important to know when you should seek help for a mole.
What do Moles Look Like?
Moles, just like humans, come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small, some large. Some moles are flat, others are raised, and some people even find hair growing on them. They can appear anywhere on the body, from the face to the legs to the stomach.
When to Seek Help for a Mole
The worry concerning moles is the risk that it is melanoma. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that starts in the cells and is the deadliest of all skin cancers. It’s understandable, then, that people are concerned about the moles on their skin. While most are non-melanoma, if you do have one that is melanoma, it’s important to seek specialist treatment straight away.
While these signs won’t tell you for certain whether your mole is melanoma or not, if you experience any of them, get your mole checked out.
- A New Mole
- Changes to a Mole (such as a change in size)
- Bleeding, Crusting, or Itching
- Uneven Edges
- Varying Colours in the Same Mole
What you really need to look out for is changes in moles. A mole that looks the same as when you were a kid is likely nothing to worry over. One that is suddenly darker, a different shape, or bleeding could indicate an underlying problem.
Contact Your GP
It’s important not to stress yourself over a mole. If you experience any of the signs listed above, book an appointment with your GP as soon as possible. At your appointment, you can expect your GP to inspect the mole and tell you whether or not further inspections are required.
If your GP is also concerned about a mole, you will then get it tested in a hospital by a specialist.
Concerns About Appearance
Most moles are benign. That doesn’t mean everyone is happy with their moles, though. Even if they cause you no physical harm, the appearance of your mole/s might cause you distress.
If that’s the case, there are options. While not usually covered by the NHS, you can seek cosmetic treatment to remove a mole if you don’t like how it looks. The cost of this treatment varies for each case.
Keeping an eye on your moles is essential, but it’s not enough. Prevention methods will help reduce your chances of getting skin cancer. Here are some of the best prevention methods:
- Wear a High SPF sun cream
- Wear Sun-protective Clothing
- Stay in the Shade
- Never Use Tanning Beds
Moles are a normal part of the human body. If you notice any of the signs listed, though, or you’re concerned about its appearance, seek the help of your GP right away. It’s better to be safe than sorry!