When should I worry about a mole?
Most of us are well aware that our moles can be key indicators of our skin health and one of the earliest signs in detecting skin cancer. This link often leaves us feeling concerned and anxious about our moles and unsure if we should have them checked out.
Overall, the single most important thing for you to look for is sudden change, although subject to minor changes, a healthy mole should have a fairly consistent appearance throughout our adult lives. Here are some of the most common changes which would be a good reason for you to get it checked out.
Changes in symmetry
The majority of standard moles are symmetrical, a mole which looks visibly uneven or you think is starting to change on one side will need to be checked out. There are exceptions to this as moles which derive from birthmarks can take on any form but you should be familiar with these types of moles already and be able to spot a change. If you’re in any doubt then we always recommend getting a second opinion from a dermatologist Doctor.
Changes in size
A mole would only typically change in size when we are growing through childhood and adolescence, once we’ve stopped growing, our moles should show no signs of growth. Moles which have become noticeably bigger in a short period of time should definitely be checked out.
Changes in colour
A healthy mole should typically be one single colour, if for example you have a brown mole which is starting to show another colour such as red or black then it is important to get the mole looked at as soon as possible. Moles can naturally become slightly darker when we expose our skin to the sun and you may notice slight fluctuations in the shade of your moles which can be a cause for concern. With this in mind it is a good idea for you to monitor the seasonal changes of your moles so you know what is normal for your skin.
Changes in texture
Many of us have moles which are slightly raised from the skin, but again the key thing to look out for are changes in the texture, if the elevation from the skin increases or the mole starts to feel uneven or rough then it is best to get the mole checked out.
Appearance of a border
Moles which start to develop the appearance of a border can be a key sign that the mole is becoming cancerous. If you notice a ring or border shape surrounding the mole then you should get the mole checked.
If you are starting to get the urge to itch your mole or you are feeling a hot sensation then it’s important for you to make an appointment with a dermatologist. We would urge you not to panic if this is the case as there are lots of reasons which can make isolated areas of the skin itch but again it is best to discuss this with a medical professional to avoid any uncertainty.
Trust your instinct
Despite the key physical things to look out for, we would advise overall that if you have started to worry about a mole, it is probably time to get it checked out. Undue stress or anxiety can cause more damage to our mental health in the long run so seeking the help of a medical professional to put your mind at rest is definitely worthwhile.
We offer video consultations so you can now discuss your concerns with a Dermatologist Doctor from the comfort of your own home. If we think your mole looks like it needs a physical examination or biopsy we can let you know.