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Should I have my mole removed? The ‘ABCDE rule’

Moles are very common and most moles are harmless, but it is important to check them regularly to make sure they are not unusual-looking, new or changing. A good idea is to use your smartphone or camera to take a picture of the mole. Then you can compare a more recent photo against an older one for changes.

So when should I have my mole removed? If you check your moles every few months, and you notice an unusual-looking or new or changing mole, it is important to get it checked by an expert without delay. Many people make the mistake of thinking skin cancer is trivial. Melanoma is the least common but most serious form of skin cancer, caught early, it is easily treated but caught late it can kill.

According to Nurse Anna of The Mole Clinic, self-monitoring is easier than you think.

Asymmetrical –  Look for moles that are asymmetrical in shape.

Border – a jagged edge around the mole.

Colours – does the colour change from one area to another?

Diameter – Is it bigger than 7mmin diameter?

Evolving – changing shape, colour or size over time.

If you are worried, get your moles checked by an expert.

In the UK, your NHS GP is the first place to go if you suspect something is not right. If it’s something serious they will refer you to a specialist but in most cases, it’s just a matter of removing it. Mole removal, whether of a suspicious mole or for cosmetic reasons is usually a quick, simple and painless procedure. If you would prefer to go privately, the mole can be removed under local anaesthetic at a clinic such as The Mole Clinic, where consultant dermatologists or surgeons advise on the most appropriate procedure to remove the mole.

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