Most moles are completely innocent. However, certain changes can provide clues about underlying pathologies.
Things to look for include:
Moles with uneven colouring — most moles only have one or two colours, but melanomas have lots of different shades.
Moles with uneven or ragged edge — moles are usually circular or oval with a smooth border.
Bleeding, itching, red, inflamed (swollen) or crusty moles
Moles that get a lot bigger — most moles are no bigger than the width of a pencil and are completely harmless. However, they may be unsightly and affect your confidence.
A helpful way to remember what to look for is to use the ABCDE method.
B — border irregularity
C — colour change
D — diameter
E — elevated (raised) or enlarged
There is a smartphone app (Mole Monitor —Skin Mole Mapping and Cancer Symptom Checker) which is approved by the NHS for mole mapping. The app claims to provide a safe and accurate way to map your moles and ski lesions right on your iPhone. It claims to provide images that are accurate and ready for review by you and your doctor.
Please remember that this is not a diagnostic tool and any changes or new symptoms should be mentioned to your doctor.