Mole check Dermoscopy photos
Mole check with dermoscope
Mole check with polarised light
Mole check - comprehensive screening
Moles are a normal part of our skins make up.
Our genetics and lifestyle tend to determine how many moles we have as we grow up. It is normal to get more moles as we grow older and for the ones we currently have to slowly grow.
What is not normal is for moles to change so that they become irregular in shape, colour and grow faster than the other moles. It is important that any changing moles you should see your doctor. Skin cancers are curable if they are caught early so for peace of mind check your moles regularly.
‘If in Doubt Check it Out’
Skin cancers are increasing as we live longer and our exposure to the UV light is greater.
Early detection of skin cancer gives the best possible outcomes. The best ways of detecting worrying moles are:
- Self checking all areas of your skin every 3 months
- Use medical mole mapping apps on your smart phone
- Ask your partner to look for moles on your back.
- Full mole checks by doctors, using thorough techniques and advanced dermoscopy (mini microscope) equipment
The key message is that new or changing moles in comparison to all your other moles should be checked out by a doctor especially if you have a mole that looks ‘ugly’ compared to the others.
We offer mole checking by doctors for your peace of mind at our skin clinics in London and Bristol.
Head to toe examination
Mole Check Costs
|Treatment||Cost per session|
|Full Body Mole Check||£200|
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Mole Check FAQ: Questions & Answers
Who carries out full body mole checks?
This is a medical appointment with a fully qualified doctor or surgeon who has extensive experience of diagnosing moles as well as removing them.
How often should I have a mole check?
Most people once every few years is fine however if you are in a high risk group ie fair skin, lots of moles and family history then every year maybe prudent.
What special equipment do you have?
Our mole checks are carried out under high definition lighting and using magnification such as dermoscopes. Our clinics are highly equipped with the latest technology, but the skill and experience of our doctors and surgeons is just as important.
What are the risk factors for skin cancer?
Risk factors are – fair skin type, lots of moles, family history, episodes of sunburn.
Can I get a mole checked on the NHS?
If you have a worrying mole or number of moles that are suspicious, then you should book an appointment with a GP in the first instance. If they agree that your moles are worrying, they will refer you to a specialist for diagnosis and treatment on the NHS.
However, GPs and dermatologists cannot offer a full body mole check, which is designed as a preventive check to flag up any concerns at an early stage.
If you see a GP or dermatologist for suspicious moles which turn out to be of no medical concern, then they will not be removed on the NHS, as they are classed as cosmetic.
Cosmedics Skin Clinics see many patients who have been advised to seek a private company to get rid of bothersome moles.
What should I do if I am worried about a mole?
Our advice is simple ‘If in doubt check it out’ and see a doctor for peace of mind.
How do I check my moles myself?
Every 3 months when out of the shower look up and down ALL areas of the skin using a mirror if needed to see if moles look different from other moles or if anything new has developed that looks ugly. Remember its flat dark moles that are the main concern.
How do you know if a mole is cancerous?
When we remove a mole, it is our policy that ALL mole specimens deemed appropriate are sent for independent testing. This is for patient safety, good clinical practice and ultimate peace of mind.
The mole is sent to a specialist laboratory where it is examined by a doctor to ensure all the layers of the skin are normal. Results come back in a few days. This service is a small cost in addition to the cost of mole removal.
Can I get a mole removed in the same appointment?
Our appointments are normally generous enough to allow for our doctors/surgeons to remove any moles that you want to get rid of there and then. However, if you know that you definitely want moles removed as well as a full body mole check, please let our team know, so that they can ensure they’ve allowed sufficient time.
What age should I start having full body mole checks?
Your risk of skin cancer increases with age. In the UK, most people diagnosed with skin cancer are over the age of 50; but this is not exclusively the case. There are also many younger people, especially those whose risks are higher e.g. due to significant sun exposure, blistering/burns in the past and/or family history of skin cancer.
If you are concerned then a full body mole check can be very helpful in putting your mind at rest, as well as acting as an early warning system for any suspicious moles that you may have missed in self-checking.
Who is the most at risk of skin cancer
Higher risk individuals should undertake yearly mole checks who:
- Have more than 50 moles
- Family history of melanoma
- History of blistering sunburn
- High UV exposure as a child especially if from Australia, New Zealand or South Africa
We have the facilities to remove moles at the same appointment if necessary, or at a later date if preferred.
What is the prevalence of skin cancer in the UK ?
There are two types of skin cancer that often get talked about as one type of skin cancer however they behave quite differently
- Melanoma skin cancer accounts for 16,200 melanoma cases and 2,300 deaths per year in the UK
- Non melanoma skin cancer accounts for 152,000 skin cancer cases with 720 deaths per year in the UK
Melanoma skin cancer is by far the more serious, but non-melanoma is also a risk and affects thousands of Brits each year.
Types of Skin Cancer
Melanoma skin cancer
- Affects adult men women equally ( more commonly found on back in men and legs in women)
- 70% are from new moles
- Timeline – months to years to develop
- Detection – Symptoms – not often Signs – changing in color size and shape – often ulgy and dark but also flat
- Treatment – surgical excision
Non melanoma skin cancer
- The commonest type of skin cancer
- Occurs mainly due to age and chronic sun exposure
- Detection – Symptoms – itch, bleed, painful Signs Red patch or lump that grows over years
- Treatment – photodynamic therapy, surgical excision
Our motto for skin screening is – ‘If in doubt check it out’ as its very difficult for the non dermatology trained person to know whether something is worrisome or not and we are here to help.