When Should You Have Your Moles Checked?
Moles, also known as nevi, are very common. In fact, it is quite normal for adults to have up to 40 moles, says the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
As you may already know, moles and other spots are at times warning signs for melanoma.
While melanoma rates have become more stable in New Jersey, it’s still a great danger.
What’s interesting, though, is that people with less moles or without any at all are at a greater risk for melanoma. Additional risk factors include tanning indoors and having lighter skin, especially for white males from the age of 50 onwards. Another risk factor is being an adult survivor of childhood cancer.1
Moles change. They can grow, become darker, and they can become lighter. While most of these signs aren’t an issue,2 you should have your moles checked out frequently to stay safe.
So what should you look out for?
The AAD suggests you see a dermatologist if you find any of these signs:
- New moles
- Changes to existing moles
- Itchy moles or other spots
- Bleeding moles or other spots
If you identify any of these signs on your skin, don’t panic. The key is to catch it early. Unfortunately, seniors seem to check skin spots out at later stages in comparison to their younger counterparts,3 which can be a fatal mistake. So don’t hesitate to visit your dermatologist.
Performing a Self-Check
Before visiting your dermatologist, you can do a self-exam. The American Cancer Society suggests using “the ABCDE rule.” These signs, in addition to the ones above, are important to check out:
- Asymmetry – When one part of the mole is different than another part.
- Border – If the border isn’t smooth and clear.
- Color – Different colors in a mole.
- Diameter – Around the size a pencil eraser or larger.
- Evolving – Changes to the mole’s shape, color or size.
Basically, it comes down to this: keep on top of your moles, visit your dermatologist frequently and have your moles checked, protect your skin and relax.
How do you care for your moles and skin marks?
Please share in the comments below.
Elmwood Hills does not take any responsibility for this post’s content. Any action you take based on its information is strictly at your own risk. You should always speak to your doctor regarding medical information and your health.