WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

Embarrassing Bodies, 11:10pm Monday 21st April 2014 on More 4. Catch up for free on 4oD »

Video

Body Check – Moles Transcript.

Dr Christian: Moles are generally harmless but they can develop into a deadly form of skin cancer – called a malignant melanoma.

To increase the chances of successful treatment the cancer must be spotted early,
Which is where you come in. Checking your own moles is the most efficient and fast way to spot a problem.
New moles can occur at any time – they form where there’s a concentration of pigment, which can just happen or can result from sun exposure.

Moles naturally come in a range of shapes, sizes and colours and can even be hairy. These in themselves are nothing to worry about. It’s any changes or unusual characteristics that are important. Use the simple ABCD rule to spot these changes.

A stands for Asymmetry. Look to see if the shape of the mole is different from one side to the other.

B is for Border. The edges of the mole shouldn’t be blurred or jagged.

C stands for Colour. Look out for changes or if the mole develops different shades or patchy colouring.

Finally D is for Diameter. Check if the mole increases in size and particularly look out for any mole measuring more than 6 millimeters, which is about the size of the end of a pencil. If any of these changes occur you should make an appointment to see your doctor.Also, if a mole reddens, itches or bleeds you should get it seen as soon as possible.

For this body check and others featured on the site we want to hear about your findings so please come back to share your results and discuss them with other site users.

Examine your moles regularly to check for new ones or changes to the old ones. You should also check in hard to reach places; moles can appear anywhere on the body. Use a mirror or get a friend to help. Taking a well-lit photo is a great way to compare changes over time.

And if you have any concerns do contact your GP.

Read the video transcript

Body Check: Moles

Moles are generally harmless but they can lead to a deadly form of skin cancer called a malignant melanoma. In this video, Dr Christian explains what to look out for when checking your moles.

>> Download the free My MoleChecker iPhone app <<

New moles can develop at any time. Moles generally come in a range of shapes, sizes and colours. They are normally nothing to worry about, unless they start to change and develop unusual characteristics. Use the simple A B C D rule to spot these changes.

A – Asymmetry, a mole shouldn’t differ from one side to the other.
B – Border, the edges of the mole shouldn’t be blurred or jagged.
C – Colour, look out for any changes in colour or patchy shades.
D – Diameter, check to see if a mole increases in size or if it is larger than 6mm across.

Also check to see if a mole reddens itches, crusts or bleeds and if you spot any of these changes, make an appointment and see your GP.

We want to hear about your findings, so please click the link below and add your results to our national survey.

+++Update+++

From the 13th – 20th May 2009 we conducted a National Health Survey to find out how many people had potentially problematic moles. Below are the detailed results.

Most of you who responded had normal looking moles, but around 10% of you found ones with either asymmetric or irregular borders. These are often benign, but if you are worried, or you spot changes to your moles, get them checked out. A good way to check for changes is to take a photo of your mole at regular intervals. That way you can judge whether the mole is changing, and take the pictures to your doctor if necessary.

Around a fifth of you reported itchy moles. This is definitely something that you should see your GP about, especially if they are painful or start to bleed regularly.

A small number of you also reported moles that had reddened suddenly, which comes under the ‘c’ for change warning sign. This can be a normal pigment change, but it could also be indicative of a mole turning malignant, so should be checked out by a medical professional.

Normal Moles – 56%
Irregular Border – 3%
Uneven Colour – 1%
Assymetric – 9%
Large Diameter – 8%
None – 23%

Did you find this useful? YesYes NoNo

1622 of 1857 people said they found this useful

Comments and Questions

You can share your experiences and thoughts with other Embarrassing Bodies site-users below. Comments & Questions are reviewed by moderators, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

I have small dark brown moles which are itching lately they become more appearing also at night they are itching a lot I don't have medication that I'm using I'm starting to worry pls let me know if you have unswers





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I have 3 5mm moles on my forehead, i have been to a doctor ams they said there is nothing wrong with them. There are very embarasing and i have to cover them up with a fringe. I really want them to be removed, how can i get them removed? Please help.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I have a mole on my pelvic that started as a freakle it is raised up and getting very large and now where my thigh meets it another mole as developed should I be worried





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

i just found a brand new mole on the back of my leg it was never there before and its getting bigger over time what should i do,,thank you





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

hi im 39 and have mole type markings appearing on my legs some look like freckles but have different colour shadings also lumped red spots and a lump at the top of my thigh at the back of my leg im quite worried as my legs are allways itchy and wondering if it could be a result of 2nd degree burns i got from my first holiday abroad when i was 18 please help





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I am 39, and couple of months ago I got two new moles 3-4 mm, in the area near vagina. These moles not disturbing but i think i feel tiny lump under skin next to one mole (not under it). Should I check it with doctor?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hello, I'm 35 weeks pregnant and I have a mole on my tummy that I have had for years now. It hasn't really changed in size or shape or colour, but it has become quite painful and itchy. Should I get it checked out?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi, I've had a mole on my back for a while. But I can seem to pick at It and has risen. Its tends to become ititchy aswell. Have u any idea what this means or any suggestions? Thanks.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

i have a small mole growing on my ariola near my nipple, is this something i should be concerned about?? it doesnt sound like its dangerous from what ive read above but ive never had a mole before this one.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

i have a mole on my back.Its over 6mm in diameter very dark and its got a crusty scab on it.Shoud i go to see my doctor.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Yes. That mole sounds atypical and it should be checked. If there is any change that needs to checked aswell.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.



Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.



Please don't swear or be rude in your questions, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting questions. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines


More Information

  1. Quick Health Advice: Moles

    In Videos - Dr Jessen advises on the kind of mole you should be looking out for…

  2. How To Check Your Skin

    In Videos - Dr Jessen provides a quick guide on how to check and protect your s…

  3. Skin Cancer

    In Conditions - One of the most common forms of cancer, affecting 60,000 people in…

  4. Enlarged Prostate

    In Conditions - An enlarged prostate (known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH)…

  5. Consultation: Breast Reconstruction

    In Videos - Dr Jessen treats a breasts cancer survivor who wants to receive an…

  6. Dr Christian Jessen

    In Videos - Find out more about Dr Christian Jessen

  7. Episode 1 - Pelvic Floor

    In Episodes - This week’s episode includes a woman who thinks she has a gia…

  8. Dr Christian Jessen

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Christian

  9. Consultation: Prostate Cancer

    In Videos - Dr Jessen treats a patient whose Prostate Cancer has worsened in re…

  10. Dr Priya Manickavasagar

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Priya.

  11. Dr James Russell

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr James Russell.

  12. How To Check Your Vulva

    In Videos - Dr Harper's guide to how to self-check your vulva against vulval ca…

  13. How To Check Your Testicles

    In Videos - Dr Harper's guide to how to self-check your balls against testicula…

  14. Quick Health Advice: Penis Spots

    In Videos - Dr Christian discusses how to check for penile spots and what warni…

  15. Quick Health Advice: Piles

    In Videos - Dr Jessen passes on some advice about the causes of piles and the p…


Be On Embarrassing Bodies

The clinic is opening again for a new series.
Apply for Embarrassing Bodies >

Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here