Many people have moles on their face or body, although some people are more susceptible than others. Your skin type, exposure to the sun and hormonal changes can affect moles.
Moles are small brown spots made up of cells called melanocytes. They can be flat and some are lumpy, but they are usually round or oval. If you have fair skin, you are more likely to have moles than people with darker skin. And if your family is prone to moles, you are more likely to get them too.
Look Out for Changes to Moles
The NHS advises you to check your skin every few months to see if you have any new moles or if there have been changes to existing moles. Things to look out for include changes in size, bleeding, itching or if they have become bigger or have uneven edges.
Most moles are harmless, but it is certainly sensible to check them and seek medical advice if you are uncertain.
There is also an app called Doctor Mole which you can download to your Android smartphone or iPhone. It analyses your moles and sets up reminders to check up on ones which are concerning you. The app can store photos of your moles and it can make a comparison during each check-up.
However, according to a Daily Mail article, John Hawk, who is a dermatology professor at King’s College London, advises that the app could miss moles or get the diagnosis wrong.
Getting Checked by the Professionals
If you are concerned about a mole, you can have it looked at by your GP or a private clinic. They can then say if the mole is harmless, needs further examination or has to be removed.
Even if your moles are harmless, sometimes it is advisable to remove them because they are unsightly, irritating to you or snag on your clothes. In this case, it is likely that you will have to pay for private treatment.
The important thing is to keep checking any moles for changes and to seek advice.