Did you know that the more moles you have, the greater your risk of developing melanoma? This type of skin cancer affects around 16,000 people every year in the UK, but the good news is that by being sun safe, and ‘mole aware’, 86% of cases are preventable.*
What are moles?
Moles are common, pigmented skin growths that are either present from birth, or develop in childhood and early adult life. Genetics play a part in the number we may have on our bodies – multiple moles tend to run in families, but excessive sun exposure is a big factor in the formation of new moles.
So, when to worry?
Most moles are harmless, but UV rays can increase the chance of a mole becoming cancerous, so people who have them need to be extra careful in the sun. Because we have more skin exposed during the summer months, now is the prime time to be aware of any moles on the body and if they are changing, says Dr Adam Friedmann, consultant dermatologist at Stratum Dermatology Clinics. ‘Skin cancer usually presents itself as a mole or mark on the skin and can be dismissed because people don’t notice it, or don’t want to bother their GP,’ he says. Here’s what to look for…
The NHS MoleCare app can help you self-screen your moles. Free to download from the App Store.
HOW TO INSPECT YOUR MOLES
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July 13, 2020