IS MY MOLE OK?
A mole is a common type of skin growth, caused by clusters of pigmented cells.
The first sign of melanoma is often a changing mole, or a new skin spot which looks like a mole.
Early detection of melanoma is vital to save lives.
How to check your skin
Stand in front of a full length mirror in a well lit room.
Start at the top and work your way down your body.
Begin by using a brush or hairdryer to part your hair into sections so that you can check your scalp.
Move to your face and neck, not forgetting your ears, nostrils and lips.
Be sure to check both the top and underneath of your arms. Don’t forget your fingernails.
As you move down your body don't forget to check places where the sun doesn't shine! Melanoma can be found in places that do not have exposed skin.
Ask a partner or family member to check your scalp and back.
The best way to monitor changes on your skin is by taking photographs every few months and comparing them to identify any changes. React quickly and seek medical advice if you see something growing and/or changing.
Here is a simple ABCDE guide to monitor your skin for early signs of melanoma.
SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE* IF YOU SEE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING CHANGES TO A MOLE:
One half does not match the other.
The colour is not the same all over, but may have shades of brown or black, or even red, white or blue.
The edges are irregular, ragged, notched or blurred.
The area is larger than 6mm, or is growing larger.
Changing in size, shape, colour, elevation or another trait (such as itching, bleeding or crusting).
* What does seek medical advice mean?
As a first step see your GP or a skin cancer clinic. They may then refer you to see a dermatologist. You need a referral from a GP or skin cancer clinic to see a dermatologist.