As Simple as Abcde

by | Mar 11, 2024 | The Skin Blog | 0 comments

How often should you check your skin for changes in your moles?  According to the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), around monthly.  But what are we looking for and how do we know when to worry?  Luckily BAD have produced a simple leaflet with clear instructions on how to carry out a self-examination, and when to contact an expert for help.

A = Asymmetry – do the two halves of the mole differ in shape and not match?

B = Border – are the outside edges of the mole blurred and/or ‘ragged’?

C = Colour – has there been any changes in colour?  Is the mole uneven and patchy?  Different shades of black, brown, pink, and purple may be seen.

D = Diameter – has the mole gotten bigger.  Melanomas grow progressively over time.  If your mole is getting bigger make an appointment with your GP.

E= Expert – look out for any changes and if you have any doubts arrange to see your doctor. You may be referred through the NHS to a Consultant Dermatologist in the hospital for further assessment and possible treatment.

Regular self-examination increases the likelihood of any cancerous moles being detected and treated early.

Your NHS GP can check your moles at any time if you have concerns and can refer you on to a Consultant Dermatologist if they think this is necessary.

If you are considering having a mole removed for cosmetic reasons it is important to ensure that it has been clinically examined by a trained medical professional to determine if it is safe to be removed for this purpose.

At Altruderm, our doctor carries out a clinical examination of the mole or moles using the dermoscopy technique, whereby the mole is magnified and photographed for closer inspection. All moles are sent to our partner histology lab for analysis to correlate the doctor’s diagnosis.  The histology report is typically available within a few weeks of the procedure and can be shared with your NHS GP, with your permission, ensuring all details remain on your NHS medical record.

You can take simple steps to protect yourself from skin cancer by following the ABCDE rule and regularly checking your skin for changes in your moles. 

Read the British Association of Dermatologists Guide on how to effectively conduct your self-examination and make this part of your skin-care routine.

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