Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK. Melanoma skin cancer is on the rise, with incidence rates increasing by 45% in the UK in the last decade, despite the warnings of the dangerous effects of sun exposure.
Most skin cancer is caused by ultraviolet (UV) light in the form of sunlight or tanning beds, which damages skin cells. Early detection of skin cancer, through examination by an expert and regular monitoring of moles, saves lives and if caught and treated early enough there is a 100% chance of survival. If moles are left to develop and evolve, melanoma can become fatal which is why we strongly recommend having your moles checked regularly.
Know Your Risk Of Skin Cancer
Most people know that getting sunburn increases the chances of getting skin cancer. But there are other things that increase your risk too, including if you:
- use a sun bed
- have fair hair and eyes, lots of freckles or pale skin that burns easily
- have lots of moles – more than 11 moles on your right arm means you’re
- likely to have more than 100 moles on your whole body
- have large moles bigger than 6mm
- have had a melanoma before, or if a close relative has had one
- are taking medicines that affect your immune system
Most moles are completely harmless, but some moles can develop into Melanoma skin cancer so it’s important to check your skin regularly so that you can spot any changes in size, shape, or colour early and get them checked out if you notice any changes.
Things to look out for when you’re checking your moles include:
- Colour: Uneven colours or changes in colour; most moles are just one colour, but melanomas are made up of lots of different shades.
- Size: Healthy moles don’t generally change size, so if you notice a mole getting bigger it’s important to have it checked out.
- Edges: Most moles are usually circular or oval with smooth edges, so if your mole develops a rough or uneven edge it could indicate something more serious.
- Irritation: Most moles will sit on your skin and not cause any problems, but if they turn red, start to itch, bleed, become inflamed or crusty see a specialist.
If you’re worried about any of your moles then you should always get them checked by a specialist. You can make an appointment to one of our consultants or doctors.
Whether you have one or one hundred moles, it’s important to take care of your skin. Always seek shade in the middle of the day, wear a long-sleeved top, trousers, a hat and sunglasses and use a high protection sunscreen. And remember to check your moles regularly.
If you would like to speak to us, fill in the form or call us on 01743 590010.
Why choose St. Michael's Clinic?
Here at St. Michael's Clinic, Shrewsbury's leading private skin and laser treatment clinic, our experts are specialists in all aspects of dermatology, skin cancer, anti-ageing and beauty treatments. We are able to offer NHS patients a consultant led dermatology service from our three sites in Shrewsbury, Much Wenlock and Donnington (Telford).
St. Michael's Clinic is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, ensuring the best level of treatment is provided to you in a safe environment. Our Clinical Lead Dr Stephen Murdoch is a member of the British Association of Dermatologists, the British Laser Medical Association and the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. We are part of the Dermatology Partnership, a leading group of dermatology clinics, defined by clinical excellence and focusing on leading dermatological care.