Every human being, regardless of skin colour has moles, also known as melanocytic naevi, on their skin and just like the rest of your body they need to be cared for and checked on a regular basis.

What is a mole?

A mole is a collection of pigment cells in the skin and is also known as a melanocytic naevus. On the skin they can look like a dark flat spot, or a raised dark lesion or even a fleshy lesion. They have variable sizes and colours.

Why do some people have more moles than others?

Some people have more moles than others because of a combination of factors, such as genetic predisposition and environmental factors including sun exposure.

Why do we need to check them?

Moles can change and turn into melanoma, one of the most dangerous types of skin cancer. Melanoma affects about 12,000 people in the UK and can be fatal if not recognised early.

How to check your moles?

It is a good idea for anyone to monitor their moles on a regular basis in order to look out for any changes that might indicate problems at an early stage. An easy way to check your moles is to use the ABCDE of mole changes:

  • Asymmetry
  • Border
  • Colour
  • Diameter
  • Elevation

Changes in the ABCDE may indicate that your mole is becoming more cancerous.

If you have any concerns about changes to your moles you should consult your GP who may refer you to a dermatologist. In my clinics I offer a comprehensive mole checking service, where all moles are checked using dermoscopy and any abnormal mole is promptly removed and sent for analysis.