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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%

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Comments and Questions

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Im a 30 year old female and I have 2 moles that I'm concerned about I have a fairly large mole on my waist and ots almost black and cracked and begins to bleed sometimes and recently it sprouted like light brown long sticks like 10 of them then about a month ago they disappeared and I have a mole on my arm that's split into two I can see the brown circle (very light) under neath of what it looked like until it split one half is light brown the other half is dark brown\black diamond shape should I be concerned about these. I've noticed in mu arm recently that I've lost some strength in it and I have cramp almost constantly os this something I should be concerned about





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Hi, I've had a small purple/red almost flat spot on my waist for 5 months now, after a while it developed a yellow centre which crusted and fell off and has been causing an ache over the area under the skin which I can sometimes feel down my leg. I saw a doctor who suggested it could be a blood blister but said it was unusual to have had one for this long and doesn't explain the ache. He gave me some cream to try and get rid of it but it isn't working. The ache is uncomfortable and consistent. Is this something I should worry about?





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i have over a hundred moles all over my body, have been developing numerous moles every year since I was little. Recently, they have started to raise and itch. Should I be seeing a doctor or concerned?





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Having over one hundred moles is a sign of skin cancer, so yes you should have a dermatologist Check it out.

i have probably got as much moles as you,i dont like them but that is life i suppose.if you have an itchy mole then you should go to see the g.p. sooner rather than later,as if there is a problem then it can be removed if it is skin cancer,which is i think the best option to stop anything spreading,i am not saying it is skin cancer but best to get it checked out sooner rather than later.i have had 3 moles removed from my face about 8 or 9 mm in size,and one or two small ones removed at the doctors surgery with a burn freeze method,not painful.they where itchy the ones the g.p. bunt off,but not cancerous.you might just have an itchty mole which is of little concern.did have lasr treatment to pluck some hairs from the site of the scars,as i court the skin sometimes when shaving my face ,not expensive laser treatment.

I have this mole on my back that lately has had irritation, its swollen itchy and feels like a seed or something is inside of it, when applying any pressure it hurts, sometimes causing pain when laying on my back, it currently has started to scrab and peel, my doctor said it could just be sweating that caused heat rash and shirt running on it but I think different... what should I do? Any ideas





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I had breast cancer from September 2012. I had chemo & radiotherapy. I've recently noticed a mole on my stomach area which is very itchy and has started to bleed. I have always gone out in the sun, living abroad for several years when I was a child. What should I do?????





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I have a mole on my chin that has scab over it does have hair growing out of it. It does bleed from time to time. I'm 39 old female





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I have a mole on the top of my head onmy scalp, it keeps forming a scab, when i told my doctor about this on the phone, she said it was normal and nothing to worry about. Is this right or should i ask for a second opinion. .





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Should moles feel lumpy





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Hi , I have a mole by my nose and its small , but it brings down my self confidence , what should I do





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hi i have a small brown mole on my tummy recently the area around it has started to itch . Its not red or crusty and even in shape and colour however i do tan alot should i be worried ?





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





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