What is a mole check?
- A mole check is a medical examination that is performed by experienced dermatologist Dr Sharon Wong to identify any unusual or potentially cancerous growths on the skin, such as moles, lesions, or freckles.
What does a mole check involve?
- The examination typically involves a visual inspection of the skin by a doctor, who will assess the size, shape, colour, and texture of any moles or other marks on the skin.
What equipment is used for a mole check?
- In some cases, a dermatoscope, which is a specialised magnifying lens, may be used to examine the skin in more detail.
Are mole checks important?
- Mole checks are important because early detection of skin cancer can greatly increase the chances of successful treatment.
- To book a mole check with our expert dermatologist and trichologist, Dr Sharon Wong, please contact us here or book online here.
Please find below many of the most common other questions about moles asked by our clients, and answered by our expert dermatologist, Dr Sharon Wong.
How do I know if my mole is okay?
- To determine if a mole is okay, it is important to look for certain characteristics such as symmetry, uniform colour, defined borders, and stability over time. However, it is recommended to consult with a dermatologist for a professional evaluation.
What colour is a healthy mole?
- A healthy mole can vary in colour, but it is typically uniform in colour and can be shades of brown, tan, or black depending on your skin colour. It should not have unusual or multiple colours within it..
Are moles flat or raised?
- Moles can be either flat or raised. Some moles may start out flat and become raised over time, while others may remain flat or slightly elevated from the skin.
What colour should a mole not be?
- A mole should not have unusual or multiple colours such as red, white, blue, black or pink. These colour changes may indicate an abnormality and should be evaluated by a dermatologist.
Are moles healthy or not?
- Moles are typically benign and not harmful. However, it is important to monitor them for any changes in size, shape, color, or texture, as these changes could be signs of a potential problem.
Can a mole look bad and not be cancerous?
- Yes, not all moles that appear unusual or "bad" are cancerous. Many benign moles can have atypical features but still be non-cancerous. It is essential to have any concerning mole evaluated by a dermatologist for a definitive diagnosis.
When should I worry about the mole?
- You should be concerned about a mole if you notice any of the following signs: changes in size, shape, colour, borders, or texture, itching, bleeding, crusting, or if it stands out from other moles. It is recommended to consult with a dermatologist for further evaluation.
How do you check if a mole is cancerous?
- Checking if a mole is cancerous requires a professional evaluation by a dermatologist. They may perform a visual examination, dermoscopy (using a special magnifying device), or a biopsy if necessary to determine if the mole is cancerous.
How do cancerous moles start?
- Cancerous moles, specifically melanomas, typically develop from normal skin cells that undergo genetic mutations. Exposure to UV radiation, genetics, and other factors can contribute to the development of cancerous moles.
What does a serious mole look like?
- A serious mole, particularly a potentially cancerous one, may exhibit various signs such as asymmetry, irregular borders, multiple colours or shades, a larger size (greater than 6 mm), and evolving or changing characteristics.
What are the five warning signs of melanoma?
- The five warning signs of melanoma, often referred to as the ABCDEs, are: Asymmetry (one half is different from the other half), Border irregularity, Color variation, Diameter larger than 6 mm (about the size of a pencil eraser), and Evolution or change in size, shape, colour, or elevation.
Do cancerous moles hurt?
- In most cases, cancerous moles do not cause pain. However, it is important to note that any changes, including pain, itching, or bleeding, should be evaluated by a dermatologist.
Which moles are cancerous?
- Not all moles are cancerous. While some moles may exhibit features associated with melanoma or other types of skin cancer, a definitive diagnosis can only be made through a biopsy performed by a healthcare professional.
Are raised moles bad?
- Raised moles are not inherently bad or indicative of cancer. However, any changes in a raised mole or the presence of concerning features should be evaluated by a dermatologist.
What does a suspicious mole look like?
- A suspicious mole may have irregular borders, asymmetry, colour variations or multiple colours, a larger size (greater than 6 mm), and evolving or changing characteristics. It is essential to consult with a dermatologist for a professional assessment.
Can a mole look cancerous but not be?
- Yes, moles that appear cancerous may not always be cancerous. Many benign moles can exhibit atypical features or mimic the appearance of a cancerous mole. It is crucial to have any concerning mole evaluated by a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis.
Do cancerous moles itch?
- Itching can sometimes be associated with cancerous moles, but it can also occur with non-cancerous conditions. It is important to have any mole that itches or exhibits other concerning changes evaluated by a dermatologist.
Do moles get bigger with age?
- Moles can potentially get larger with age due to factors such as hormonal changes, sun exposure, or other influences. However, any significant changes in size or rapid growth should be evaluated by a dermatologist.
What should a normal mole look like?
- A normal mole is typically round or oval-shaped, has a uniform colour (usually brown, tan, or black), and has clear, well-defined borders. It is important to monitor moles for any changes in size, shape, colour, or texture.
At what age should you get moles checked?
- It is generally recommended to have a baseline skin examination, including a mole check, performed by a dermatologist in adulthood. However, if you have concerns about a specific mole, regardless of age, it is advisable to consult with a dermatologist for evaluation.
Can you check moles at home?
- You can perform regular self-examinations to monitor moles for any changes. However, a professional evaluation by a dermatologist is essential to accurately assess moles and determine any potential risks or concerns.
Is it safe to touch a mole?
- It is generally safe to touch a mole, but it is important to avoid excessive picking, scratching, or irritating moles. If you notice any changes or concerns, it is advisable to have the mole evaluated by a dermatologist.
Is it good to get moles checked?
- Getting moles checked by a dermatologist is beneficial for early detection and proper evaluation of any potential concerns. Regular skin examinations can help identify any suspicious or atypical moles and ensure timely medical intervention if needed.
What is a raised mole?
- A raised mole refers to a mole that protrudes or is elevated from the surface of the skin. It can have a smooth or rough texture and may have different colours or shades. Regular monitoring and evaluation by a dermatologist are important for any changes or concerns.
What are four types of moles?
- The four main types of moles are junctional nevi (flat, brown moles found on the surface of the skin), compound nevi (slightly raised and pigmented moles), intradermal nevi (raised and flesh-coloured moles), and dysplastic nevi (unusual moles with atypical features).
What is a normal mole called?
- A normal mole is often called a benign nevus or common mole. It is typically harmless and exhibits characteristic features such as a round or oval shape, uniform colour, and clear borders.
What moles are normal?
- Normal moles, also known as benign moles, are typically round or oval-shaped, have a uniform colour, and well-defined borders. They are considered harmless and do not require immediate medical attention unless they exhibit changes or concerning features.
What is the reason for moles?
- Moles are formed when pigment-producing cells called melanocytes grow in clusters instead of spreading throughout the skin. The exact reason for the development of moles is not fully understood, but factors such as genetics, sun exposure, and hormonal changes may play a role.
What is the most common mole?
- The most common type of mole is the junctional nevus, which is a flat, brown mole found on the surface of the skin. Junctional nevi are typically harmless but should be monitored for any changes.
Which moles should be removed?
- Moles that exhibit concerning features or changes should be evaluated by a dermatologist for potential removal. This includes moles that are asymmetrical, have irregular borders, display multiple colours, change in size or shape, or exhibit other atypical characteristics.
Can you remove moles yourself?
- It is not recommended to remove moles yourself at home. Removing moles should be done by a qualified healthcare professional, such as a dermatologist, using appropriate techniques to ensure proper removal and minimize the risk of complications or infection.