Did you know that skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK, but also one of the most preventable?
Skin cancer can be characterised as melanoma or non-melanoma and there are around 16,202 cases of melanoma skin cancer diagnosed every year in the UK. 86% of these cases are preventable and there is an 87% survival rate if treated quickly. The most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole.
It is therefore vital that you monitor your skin regularly and consult a doctor if you notice any changes. You may be wondering how to check your moles at home and how to get your moles checked professionally if you are worried. Throughout this guide, we will explain the process of mole checking and the mole checking services Everything Skin Clinic can offer.
THE PROCESS OF MOLE CHECKING
If you have a mole, or multiple moles that you are concerned about, Everything Skin Clinic offers a mole checking service so we can check your moles for you. Your Dermatologist will use a dermatoscope, which has a lighting system and a high-quality lens giving 10 to 14 times magnification, to visualise and assess your moles. Along with their extensive specialist training, this dermatoscope allows your consultant dermatologist to distinguish benign moles from cancerous moles.
In addition to the traditional mole checking services we are able to offer, Everything Skin Clinic is a mole mapping clinic, which means we have a state of the art machine which is able to provide full body mole mapping to check your moles.
HOW MOLE MAPPING DIFFERS FROM MOLE CHECKING
Mole mapping using the Fotofinder system, provides state of the art laser guided computer mapping of your entire skin and gives high-resolution images of individual moles. The machine uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to assess each mole and provide a risk cancer analysis. The images which are taken by the machine are also analysed by your consultant dermatologist.
A huge benefit of dermatology mole mapping, and how it differs from a more traditional mole check, is that the images the machine takes are mapped and recorded. When you come in for a check-up, either one year later or if you notice any changes to your skin, your body will be imaged again and these will be compared to the previous images. It’s the ability to compare images and identify changes makes it a highly accurate tool in the development of skin cancer. In a traditional mole check with a Dermatologist using a dermatoscope, your moles are checked for signs of cancer in isolation, not comparing them to historical images.
If the mole mapping procedure identifies that a mole is a cause for concern or is cancerous, Everything Skin Clinic provides a mole removal service.
MOLE MAPPING SERVICE
The Fotofinder system which we use at Everything Skin Clinic has revolutionised full body mole checking. By comparing baseline and follow up images of moles, we can automatically identify changes in moles or the development of new moles, leading to an accurate early diagnosis of skin cancer.
- Most advanced method for monitoring the skin
- Used by option leaders worldwide
- A revolution in skin cancer prevention
- Allows an accurate skin map to be created in five minutes
- Melanoma can be detected within minutes
SKIN CANCER DETECTION FROM MOLE MAPPING
The main symptom of melanoma skin cancer is a change to an existing mole or freckle or the appearance of a new mole. It is therefore vital that moles are checked regularly and any changes are noticed and seen by a doctor. The earlier melanoma skin cancer is identified, the easier it is to treat and cure. Here at Everything Skin Clinic, we are able to remove cancerous moles and treat skin cancer if it is diagnosed.
HOW TO CHECK YOUR OWN MOLES BEFORE VISITING A DERMATOLOGIST
It is a good idea to check your moles at home once a month, especially if you have lots of moles or freckles, have fair hair or skin, use sunbeds or have a family history of skin cancer.
When checking your moles, it is recommended to use both a full length and a handheld mirror so you are able to check your body all over. Stand in a well-lit room and ask a family member or your partner to help you check the hard to reach areas.
Don’t forget to check less obvious places such as your scalp, the soles of your feet and in between your fingers and toes. It is a good idea to take photos of your moles so you can keep track of any changes. If you do notice any changes or are worried by any of your moles, consult a dermatologist who can check them professionally. .
Moles can look very different to each other which can make it hard to identify moles which may be worrying, the key thing you are looking for is if your mole is changing. When checking your body for moles, you are looking for any changes to the size, colour of shape. You are also looking for itching, bleeding or crusting of moles which are signs you need to book an appointment to get your moles checked by a consultant dermatologist. When checking for moles, know your ABCDEs and get your moles professional checked if:
A Asymmetry – one half doesn’t match the other half
B Borders – the mole has uneven borders
C Colour – there is a variety of colours in the mole (brown, tan or black)
D Diameter – the mole grows larger than a pencil eraser (¼ inch)
E Evolution – the mole evolves in size, shape, colour, elevation or there is a new characteristic
By checking your moles regularly and becoming familiar with your moles, you will be able to detect any changes in them early and get them seen by a specialist so treatment can begin if required.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE UNSURE ABOUT YOUR MOLES?
If you notice any suspicious changes in a mole, such as the ones outlined above, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Your dermatologist at Everything Skin Clinic will make a detailed assessment of your worrying mole and either identify it as benign or recommend it to be removed.
If the mole needs to be removed, it will be tested in the lab to confirm whether it was cancerous and that all of the cancer cells have been successfully taken away. Sometimes, additional treatment will be required to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. In a small number of cases, the cancer will have spread to other parts of the body before it was detected. At this point, further treatment options will be discussed with you.
Noticing that one of your moles is changing can be worrying, but it is important to remember that most moles won’t cause any problems and most people won’t be affected by skin cancer.
A mole check can be hugely reassuring and is an opportunity to get professional advice on how to check your moles and protect your skin. It is important to take steps to protect yourself, check your moles regularly and make sure that you’re protecting yourself from sun damage as this can increase the risk of skin cancer.
To book an appointment to get your moles checked by one of our experts at Everything Skin Clinic, you can book online, fill out an enquiry form or give us a call on 0161 509 1294.
MEET OUR EXPERTS
DR VISHAL MADAN
Dr Vishal Madan is the founder and medical director at Everything Skin Clinic. He is a Consultant Dermatologist, Laser and Dermatological Surgeon. Dr Madan specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all skin conditions. Being the President of the British Medical Laser Association, he is the leading skin expert with extensive experience in the laser treatment of rosacea, facial redness, blemishes, rhinophyma, cysts, birthmarks, acne including acne scarring. He has a special interest in skin cancer treatment, using Mohs Micrographic surgery; a specialized technique which is by far the best method of treating basal cell carcinomas or BCC’s.
Why choose Everything Skin Clinic?
At Everything Skin Clinic™, we have a team of highly trained Consultant dermatologists, who have completed specialist training in Dermatology and are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council. All our consultants hold substantive contracts with the best Dermatology centres in leading NHS hospitals. Therefore, you can be certain of the highest quality private care.
We offer a range of treatments and can offer one, or a combination of treatments to achieve the best results. Unlike many other clinics, we can offer diagnosis and treatment all under one roof by expert consultant dermatologist, so you know you’ll be in safe hands.