We look after your wellbeing: Have your moles checked after the vacations

Checking your moles on a regular basis is an essential practice for keeping tabs on the health of your skin and can make a difference in the early detection of potentially dangerous skin conditions.

Dermatologists not only have the specialized knowledge to evaluate the health of our moles, but they also have tools and technologies that allow them to identify alterations that we might miss.

We spoke with the Dr. Virginia Sánchez about moles and the importance of checking them.

How do you know if a mole is bad?

There is a rule called ABCDE that helps us to evaluate each mole separately:
A asymmetry (not oval)
B irregular edges (the edges are not rounded but have spikes)
C different colors within the same mole (including white)
D diameter greater than 6mm (large mole)
E evolution or change: growth, color change, inflammation, itching, ulceration…
Another interesting rule is the “ugly duckling” rule, i.e., a mole that is clearly different from all other moles on the same person.

When should you be most alert for moles?

  1. When there is a first-degree family history of melanoma (father, mother, siblings or children).
  2. When there is a personal history of melanoma
  3. Phototypes I-II (light skin and light-colored eyes, red hair)
  4. Intense sun exposure in childhood especially if there have been sunburns
  5. Intense sun exposure at present

Should we check our moles ourselves?

Many times we diagnose melanoma because the patient himself consults the dermatologist because he has seen a new mole or a mole that has suddenly changed. So yes, we should be aware of our moles as much as possible and consult whenever there is something unusual about a mole or a new mole appears.

How often shouldHow often do you need to see a dermatologist?

Once a year is sufficient for adequate follow-up. After the summer, moles may be darker due to sun exposure and can be better assessed, but any time is a good time to have a mole check.

When should I get a digital mole tracker or digital mole map?

In the case of persons with more than 50 moles, a digital control of moles by means of digital dermoscopy is recommended. Digital dermoscopy is a technology that makes it possible to locate the most dangerous moles on the body, photograph them and perform a microscopic comparison on an annual basis, so that changes that the human eye is not yet able to see can be detected. Digital dermoscopy is useful for early detection of melanoma.