An easy way to quickly check your moles
So often in skincare we talk about the aesthetic side of the industry…How to reduce wrinkles, minimise dark circles and banish breakouts. However, tomorrow is the start of a whole month dedicated to the most important subject of all – Skin cancer awareness.
Skin cancer is now the most common type of cancer in the UK and the number of cases have more than doubled over the past decade. Although it is sadly responsible for 6 deaths every day, if caught early, the survival rates are exceptionally high.
This means even if you’re not a sun-worshiper, you need to be giving your skin the once over every month. Skin cancer is one of those diseases that can often catch up with us as it’s caused by the accumulative effects of sun damage, rather than one bad sunburn.
So, I’m going to share a super simple guide to checking your moles, so that you’re quickly aware of any changes and can get them treated asap. All you need is your beady eyes and ABCs. Here’s what to look out for…
A is for Asymmetry
Most skin cancers are not symmetrical. If you were to draw a line through the middle of them, the 2 halves wouldn’t match, unlike your regular round or oval shaped moles. So if you have one that looks slightly smudgy or irregular, give the doctor a call.
B is for Border
Cancerous moles tend to have wiggly, uneven or scalloped borders and although I love the scalloped edge on my favourite bikini, this is not something we want to see around a mole! If the border isn’t completely smooth, it’s best to get it investigated.
C is for Colour
Multiple colours in one mole are a definite red flag. We’re used to seeing one shade across the entire lesion, but if you’re seeing varying shades or brown, tan, black or even red, make sure you book in to see your GP
D is for Diameter or Darker
Usually, it’s ideal to detect a problematic mole when it’s small, however if it’s grown to the size of a pencil eraser or bigger, it’s time to get it checked. With that being said, if there have been no changes in size but the mole has become darker in colour, it’s best to book an appointment too.
E is for Evolution
If you experience any changes whatsoever in your moles, whether it be colour, size, texture, itchiness or even bleeding, take it as a warning sign and go and get it checked. The chances are it’s nothing at all to worry about, but it’s always best to ease your mind with a professional opinion.
The other thing it’s important to note, is that 9 in 10 cases of skin cancer are proven to be caused by the sun. Although this statistic is staggeringly high, it also means that approximately 86% of cases are easily preventable with the use of sunscreen.
This is why I’ll forever encourage you to apply your Sunbeam Cream - SPF 50 as the last step in your morning routine, every single day. No matter the weather!
As our faces are usually exposed 365 days a year, they need all the protection they can get and this little jar shields against both UVA and UVB rays, to keep you as safe as possible.
And just in case the bank holiday sunshine happens to make an appearance, please make sure you always have a sun protection on hand for your body too. Arms, legs and backs are common places for skin cancer to develop, so slather on that sun cream…It’s literally a life-saver 🥰
Amy is a qualified skin expert and founder of BASE. When she’s not writing about skincare, you’ll find her applying it, developing it or daydreaming about it instead!