Non – cancerous Moles

Moles are common harmless skin lesions, due to the accumulation of pigment cells in the skin. Almost everyone has at least one of them and they can either be present at birth or appear later in life. Fairer skinned individuals tend to have more moles than darker skinned individuals.

When should you get your moles reviewed?

You should see a dermatologist to get your mole reviewed if:

  • It changes in size, shape, structure or color
  • If it appears different from the rest of your other moles
  • It meets the criteria for ABCD( Asymmetry, irregular Borders, Color variation, Diameter 6mm)
  • The mole bleeds, is itchy or gets crusted

How is a mole check done?

Your dermatologist will do a complete examination of your entire skin, in particular focusing on any moles or suspicious lesions with a special skin magnifier (dermatoscope). Any suspicious moles will be biopsied and sent for histological analysis of the skin cells.

Who else should have a regular skin check or mole check done?

If you are at high risk for skin cancer, you should have a regular skin check done yearly:

  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Personal history of skin cancer
  • A history of increased UV exposure (e.g. indoor tanning, people who work outdoors)
  • A weakened immune system ( conditions that weaken the immune system include viruses, disease or immune suppression therapy associated with organ transplantation)
  • If you have multiple moles
  • A history of sunburns, especially in early life

Your dermatologist will be able to spot any suspicious looking moles or other pre cancerous lesions or non- melanoma skin cancers during your yearly checks.