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What you need to know about your moles

What you need to know about your molesThis week temperatures across the country have soared and England is preparing for summer. Whether it’s actually on the horizon or not hasn’t stopped shops dressing their windows with the latest in skimpy beachwear and barely-there festival get up, and frankly, we’re chomping at the bit to get our pins out in the open after a long, dark winter.

But one thing that doesn’t immediately spring to mind among all those wistful thoughts of long summer days, and warm summer nights, is moles. We think about our skin; it is, after all, the largest organ in the body: we fret about how to keep moisture levels up, how to protect it from harmful UV rays that will leave us looking haggard in old age, and how to get the most even tan, but it’s so easy to forget those tiny islands of raised skin dotted about our bodies – moles.

The trouble is, moles need to be checked. The danger with not checking up on your moles regularly is that vital changes that could be a sign of melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer- get overlooked. Therefore, just like you should get into the habit of regularly self-examining your breasts, so you should familiarise yourself with any moles on your body, and know what changes or suspicious signs to look out for.

That’s where the mole alphabet comes in:

A – Asymmetrical shape. Is one side noticeably different from the other?
B – Border irregularity. Are the edges irregular, scalloped or hard to define?
C- Colour. Does it vary? There might be shades of tan, brown or black, and occasionally red, white or even blue.
D- Diameter. Is the mole longer than 6-7mm?
E- Evolving. Has it changed in size, shape or colour?

Other warning signs include moles tingling, itching, burning, bleeding and oozing. If you experience any of these changes, it’s important to get your mole checked by your GP straight away. You wouldn’t ignore a lump in your breast, and moles are just as important, so don’t forget about them.

Image: Shutterstock

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