What to look out for: harmless mole or potential skin cancer?

What to look out for: harmless mole or potential skin cancer?

For the untrained eye, it's not easy distinguishing between harmless (also known as benign) moles and those which need further attention.

By regularly checking your skin and getting to know your skin, you may notice moles that are changing as well as identifying new moles. In a study involving 3500 Queenslanders with melanoma, the study found that almost half were detected by patients themselves and around one fifth were found by partners. 

In recent decades, the incidence of skin cancer has increased in Australia, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and many other countries around the world.

Despite skin cancer being described as Australia's "national cancer" (2 in 3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70 years old), it is also described as being "the most preventable". It is never too late to start protecting your skin as skin damage is cumulative.

If you spend time outdoors, medical experts recommend UPF50+ sun protective clothing as the first line of defence against the sun's ultra violet rays. 

Solbari offers a wide range of sun protective clothing, sun hats and accessories which are tested and certified UPF50+ in Australia by the responsible Australian Government rating Agency. This is the highest sun protective rating for fabrics available on the market of UPF50+, blocking more than 98% of UVA and UVB rays. 

Solbari believes in prevention being the best cure, getting to know your skin and getting regular skin checks. 

 

So do you know what to look out for when you check your skin?

The features of melanoma to look out for are often referred as the ABCD rule:

  • Asymmetry: Half the mole does not match the other half in size, shape or color.
  • Border: The edges of moles are irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined.
  • Color: The mole is not the same color throughout.
  • Diameter: The mole is usually greater than 6 millimetres when diagnosed, but may also be smaller.

The ABCD rule has been used by Doctors for more than 25 years to identify suspicious moles. But with the increasing diagnosis of nodular melanomas (about 20% of all cases of melanoma) and smaller melanomas which do not subscribe to the ABCD rule, the EFG rule has been added. 

  • Evolution and Elevation: A mole or skin lesion that is different from the rest, or changes in size, shape, or color.
  • Firmness: benign moles are quite soft to touch, whereas melanoma lesions can be solid.
  • Growth: benign moles often remain relatively the same size, whereas melanoma lesions can often grow rapidly. 

If you are concerned about moles with any of the features described above, consult your skin doctor or dermatologist.

If you have questions or comments, please send us an email at info@solbari.com and we'll be happy to assist you.


The SOLBARI Team
This blog is for information only. Please consult your medical specialist for further assistance.



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