Skin health often reflects what is going on internally, and moles are one of the biggest visible indicators of melanoma or skin cancer. It’s easy to dismiss and ignore a mole because it can be difficult to determine if it’s changing.
As we age, adult medicine is important for illness and disease prevention, and at Chicagoland, we offer dermatological screenings to help prevent and detect skin cancer. Learn more about moles and melanoma in today’s post.
Are You a Moley Person?
In a study by St.Thomas’ Hospital in London, researchers found a correlation with the number of moles on your right arm, which indicated someone as a “molely” person, with a higher chance of getting skin cancer. So, what’s the number?
If you have more than 10 moles on your right arm, you have a higher probability of getting skin cancer.
An increased amount of moles is an indication that your cells are active, which can increase the amount of skin cells mutations that cause cancer. And while 10 moles on your right arm increases your chances, this percentage rises to 10 percent if you have more than 100 moles on your entire body.
Get a Dermatological Screening By Your Doctor
While being proactive and checking things out for yourself is noble, you can’t see all the nooks and crannies that a doctor can, so it is always recommended to get a mole check by your physician. The process can feel a bit intrusive — you get completely naked and they examine every mole, take measurements, and take pictures — but it results in a thorough, highly preventative process. If you’re diligent with these screenings, over time, they’re able to assess any changes and can see any red flags in your moles.
Get Acquainted With Your Moles
If you’re a molely person, and even if you’re not, before you begin to panic and pour over the health of your moles, get acquainted with them and notice what they look like.
Remember the mole acronym — ABCDE — when you’re assessing your moles.
A is for asymmetry – If your mole is symmetrical, it’s generally benign. It’s moles that are asymmetrical that you have to be worried about. If you can draw a line down the middle and there are two equal halves, you should be fine.
B is for border – A mole with a clear and defined border is typically benign, and it’s the borders with uneven edges that you should be concerned with.
C is for color – Healthy moles have one standard color, while moles in question will have varying shades, from brown to tan, and even black. Melanomas often appear in shades of red and blue.
D is for diameter – Moles that are smaller, less than a pencil eraser, are generally benign, while moles that are larger than that are ones to keep an eye on.
E is for evolving – A mole that begins to change is a mole that needs to be assessed. This can be any of the features we mentioned above, such as size, color, shape, and elevation.
Moles are common and having them doesn’t immediately mean you’ll develop melanoma. Yes, a higher number of moles does increase the likelihood of getting skin cancer so just be mindful and get an annual mole check at your physician’s office to prevent and get early detection of skin cancer.