Self examination and skin checking
Checking over your skin is something everyone should do every 3 months or so. If you have had a melanoma then a more frequent check of your moles, once a month is advisable. Ensure you have good light and if possible someone to look at those areas you can’t see.
Remember that many modern phones have good quality cameras - moles you want to watch can be photographed and the picture used to compare what happens to the mole over time. This can be useful for moles in areas you can’t see (back, head)
There are a few things to remember:-
- Melanoma tends to develop slowly particularly the commonest - Superficial Spreading Melanoma, so if you check too frequently you are more likely to miss any change in a mole. Like a watching for a tulip appear, if you checked daily it will be less obvious than if you checked every week.
- If you have a lot of moles it is the odd one out that you want to catch. If you stood naked in front of 20 friends, would they all point to the same mole!
- Features of change in amole that you should look out for are a change in the size (bigger/smaller), colour (darker/lighter) and shape (particularly if loss of symmetry i.e. one half does not look like the other half)
- It is normal for established moles to change with time.They tend to become dome shaped and return to the same colour as their surrounding skin.
If you have a mole that you feel has changed or is causing new symptoms, you should get it checked out
For further information and examples of different moles please check this website:
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