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How do I know if I need to get a mole checked?

Jan 18

Your dermatologist will advise you on how frequently you need to have skin checks based on your individual risk factors. If you have had a melanoma in the past, skin checks will usually be done every 3-6 months for a few years. For non melanoma skin cancers, skin checks are typically done every 6 months. If you have had a skin cancer but haven't had any for a while, yearly skin checks may be sufficient.

How do I know if I need to get a mole checked?

For at home skin checks, where you don’t have access to a dermatologist, there are two main methods of identifying potential lesions of concern or melanomas.

1.     The ABCDE Method:

A: Asymmetry

Most melanomas will be asymmetrical.

B: Border

Melanomas present with irregular borders, including notched and blurry edges.

C: Colour

Multiple different colours within a mole are a suspicious feature. These include shades of brown, black, white and red.

It is important to note, that rarely melanomas will present as amelanotic (lacking colour).

D: Diameter

Larger lesions are more suspicious, especially if the lesion is greater than 6mm.

E: Evolving

Any change in size, shape, colour, or any new symptom within the mole (bleeding, itching, or crusting) may be a warning sign of melanoma.


2.     The Ugly Duckling Method:

Generally, moles on the body all appear very similar in nature, including size and colour. If any mole stands out and appears different to the surrounding moles, it may be considered suspicious.


If you are a Caucasian person living in Australia, you are generally at a higher risk of developing skin cancer and associated symptoms of sun damage. We advise getting a full skin check every few years once you reach a certain age. Full skin checks are not required for younger people unless indicated by a medical practitioner.


Skindepth Dermatology


1 Balaclava Road

St Kilda East VIC 3183

[email protected]