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Video

Dr Christian: Moles are caused by skin cells that produce too much pigment. They can range from black through to light brown and even be skin coloured. They can be flat, raised, smooth or rough and some have hairs growing from them. The majority are normal and harmless but in a few cases they can develop into a malignant melanoma which is a type of cancer and melanomas can kill. So it’s vital you know your skin and your moles. To check your moles use the ABCD rule:

A: Asymmetry is where the two halves of your moles don’t look the same.
B: Border. When the edges of your mole are irregular, blurred or jagged.
C: Colour. When the colour of your mole is uneven with more than one shade.
D: D is diameter. When your mole is wider than 6mm.

If you develop a new mole or an old one changes size, shape or colour, or if a mole bleeds, itches or reddens you should make an appointment to see your doctor straight away because if a mole is malignant or not treated early enough then the cancer cells can spread and develop tumours elsewhere in the body. The most important thing is to protect and look after your skin and your moles. If you have more than 25 moles or have a lot of freckles, have pale skin, are female, been sunburned or sun bathe a lot then you are most at risk but everyone should be careful in the sun and you should limit the amount of time you spend in it. Keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm. Always, always use a high factor sun cream, a minimum of SPF 15 and reapply it regularly. Better still, cover up. Wear sunglasses and a hat and keep babies and children out of the sun. Don’t assume that because it’s cloudy or your travelling in a car you cannot burn. More people die of skin cancer in the UK than in Australia and it’s the second most common cancer for those aged between 20 and 39. So, if you want a tan, get it out of a bottle.

Read the video transcript

Quick Health Advice: Moles

You might not believe it, with our experience of the great British weather, but more people die of skin cancer in the UK than in Australia. In this exclusive guide, Dr Jessen stresses the importance of being familiar with our skin and any moles we might have, and provides simple and effective ways to check ourselves. He also advises on the safest way to enjoy the sun and dispels some myths along the way. You can’t catch the sun on a cloudy day? Think again…

>> Download the free My MoleChecker iPhone app <<

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Comments and Questions

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

I have had two holes adjacent to my left ear since birth. The top mole became enlarged, scabbed over then faded around a year ago. The bottom mole remained itchy and has been repeatedly scabbing over for about 14 months. A hot bath, catching it with my hairbrush, towel drying etc will result in bleeding. Now one on my next has started the same process. Is this just the result of hormonal changes, natural fluctuations in the body or something to worry about. Currently doing my masters full time, so getting time off for medical appointments and managing to get on during scheduled free time is a miracle.





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I have a mole on my face,right-cheek. It's black/brown in colour, and really starting to worry





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I have getting to moles on my stomic both very small, can't remember then being there before but I have been going on sun beds should I be worried ? I am 23





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My 10 year old daughter has a mole on her back near her shoulders. It is slightly raised, deep brown colour but I have noticed some small black dots in it. Is this anything to be worried about nd should I take her to the doctor? Kind regards Georgina





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iam 34 yrs old female i have a mole at the bottom of lower back at least i think its a mole its been thr quite some time it almost feels like a small scab it has irregular edges an is light brown in colour should i get this checked out.





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Definitely yes get it checked out .if amole becomes Itchy , dry , ,discolloured or changes shape you should get it checked right away .

I have what I think is a mole on my leg its about 2cm by 1.5cm and I've had it for as long as I can remember. Should I be worried?





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Robt Konetchy[url=(调用文章设置中的原文链接项)]Robt Konetchy[/url](调用文章设置中的原文链接项)

I am 13 and have four moles. 2 medium sized ones on my neck, a small one on my inner thigh and a very small on next to my left eye. The one on my thigh is recent. My family has a history of various cancers. Should I be worried? If not is there any way to remove them?





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Robt Konetchy[url=(调用文章设置中的原文链接项)]Robt Konetchy[/url](调用文章设置中的原文链接项)

There is a way it kind of hurts but ty a string around it and keep it on there and then the nixed day or to yay it titere

Sunbeds cause just under 100 deaths a year from melanoma and 440 people are diagnosed with skin cancer from them according to stats from Cancer Research UK . People need to realise that skin cancer is not just something you can cut out and it is gone. If you get Squamous Cell or Basal Cell Carcinoma then yes it can be cut out and you may be scarred but you will be cured. If you get melanoma it can spread through your lymph and blood system to all your major organs and ultimately kill you as there is still no known cure. /As Doctor Christian states early diagnosis is crucial to surviving melanoma so check your moles for changes regularly and report to your GP if you notice any changes. My Doctor actually told me my irregular shaped mole was okay, and I only went back again a few weeks later on my wifes insistence. This time it was removed and then I was told it was melanoma.If I had been diagnosed correctly my melanoma might never have ultimately spread. So be persistent and ask to be referred to a dermatologist if you are unhappy. A melanoma diagnosis is like the Mafia once you are in there is no getting out. It can come back, weeks, months or years later, mine came back 13.5 years after my cancerous mole was removed and I am now stage IV which is terminal. A few simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference, avoid sunbeds, they are not healthy and age your skin. And include a sun safety regimen into your daily lives. If you follw these simple steps you can avoid ever having to face the fear and anxiety of a melanoma diagnosis. We are a fair skinned race and should learn to love the skin we are in.





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Robt Konetchy[url=(调用文章设置中的原文链接项)]Robt Konetchy[/url](调用文章设置中的原文链接项)

I have a mole on my fore head I'm only 13 and it's making me very self-conscious and I hate it I have to cover it up with a fringe otherwise I get bullied , even my best friend laughs and makes jokes about it to me :( , and to have my mole removed is too much money for us I just really would like it gone so I can wear my hair up with out having to have a fringe aswell .... Any suggestions of what I could do??





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I am a 19 year old female. I have recently used a sunbed, I got slightly burned and started to peel across my back. I have a mole on my back which seems to be irregular in shape as it is pointy looking, the borders are a bit uneven, the colour has not changed but I don't remember it looking like this so I am a bit worried.





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Please get it checked. Any changes need to be seen by a GP or dermatologist.

Please get it checked. Any changes need to be seen by a GP or dermatologist.

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