Bupa has seen the number of dermatology appointments for mole checks increase by 475% compared to this time last year. The rise in the number of people booking mole checks is due to several factors; Bupa expert Dr Stephanie Munn, Dermatology Consultant and Clinical Lead says: “The changes in global weather patterns, increased travel and sun bed usage are leading to more people being exposed to the damaging effects of the sun.
“Publicity has led to a greater awareness about the harm caused by too much sun exposure, which has prompted people to get checked as early as possible for any signs of skin cancer. As a result we’ve increased the capacity in our dermatology clinics to offer an affordable consultant-led mole check service.
She continued: “It’s important to check your skin for new or changing moles as they can develop in to a type of cancer called melanoma. In the UK, the number of people with melanoma is going up. It’s now the second most common type of cancer in people aged between 25 and 49.
“The good news is, the earlier it’s spotted and treated, the better the outlook is”.UV levels vary throughout the year in the UK which is why Bupa has created a map to show how UV levels change in different parts of the UK over a 12 month period.
With lots of us returning from our summer holidays, there’s a simple A to E rule which will help spot the earlier signs of skin damage.
You should look out for new moles, or changes in the size, colour or shape of an existing mole:
A – Asymmetry. Do both halves of the mole look the same?
B – Border. Is the edge of the mole uneven or blurred?
C – Colour. Is the mole a mix of different shades or colours?
D – Diameter. Is it bigger than 6mm from side to side? (As a tip, the end of a pencil is about 5mm across)
E – Evolution. Has the mole changed?
There are a few other important things to look out for: itching and bleeding or crusting. If a mole starts to bleed and you haven’t injured it then you should get it checked as soon as you can.
Full press release on www.bupa.co.uk