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Video

Dr Christian:

Moles are caused by skin cells that produce too much pigment. They can range from black through to light brown, and even be skin coloured and can be flat, raised, smooth or rough and some have hairs growing from them and nearly all of us have them.

You’ve got a nice big mole here actually. There’s a good one; let’s have a look at that. And it’s a nice symmetrical shape, the colour is even, it’s not raised its not got any odd looking dark bits in it. That’s a normal mole.

The majority are normal and harmless but in a few cases they can develop into a malignant melanoma which is a type of cancer and melanomas can kill. So it’s vital you know your skin and your moles.
To check your moles use the A-B-C-D rule.

A – Asymmetry, so where the two halves of your moles don’t look the same
B – Border, when the edges of your mole are irregular, blurred or jagged
C – Colour, when the colour of your mole is uneven with more than one shade
And D is diameter, when your mole is wider than 6mm.

If you develop a new mole, or an old one changes size shape of colour, or if a mole bleeds, itches or reddens, you should make an appointment to see your Doctor straight away because if a mole is malignant and not treated early enough then the cancer cells can spread and develop tumours elsewhere in the body.

The most important thing is to protect and look after your skin and your moles. If you have more than 25 moles or have a lot of freckles, have pale skin, are female, been sunburned or sunbathe a lot, then you are most at risk. But everyone should be careful in the sun and you should limit the amount of time you spend in it.

Dr Christian: Have you got sun cream on?

Black-haired girl: Umm not today no

Dr Christian: Have long have you been here for?

Black-haired girl: About an hour and a half

Blonde girl: Yeah

Dr Christian: About an hour and a half?

Blonde and black-haired girl: Yeah

Dr Christian: Hottest time of the day and you’ve got no sun cream on? Look what I’ve got

Blonde girl: Oh

Dr Christian: This is a factor 30 and this is about the right sort of factor for this time of day

Blonde girl: 30!

Dr Christian: 30. And I’m damn well going to put it on you because I’m not happy about this OK?

Blonde girl: You do that

Dr Christian:
Keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm always, always use a high factor sun cream (a minimum of SPF 15) and reapply it regularly. Better still, cover up, wear sunglasses and a hat and keep babies and children out of the sun.

Don’t assume that because it’s cloudy or you’re travelling in a car you cannot burn because you can. More people die of skin cancer in the UK than in Australia and it’s the second most common cancer for those aged 20 – 39. So if you want a tan, get it out of a bottle.

Read the video transcript

How To Check Your Skin

Most of us have at least a few moles on our body, but many people are completely covered by them. Although very few moles are problematic, it’s important to be aware of any changes in your moles. Dr Jessen’s guide explains all you need to know about what to look out for, as well as providing advice on how to protect your skin and moles.

>> Download the free My MoleChecker iPhone app <<

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Comments and Questions

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Hi I applied for the show well over a year ago via application form in the post it asked me to send pictures of the affected areas - being very personal it would have been sufficient to have some sort of reply to say that you received my application even if it was not successful. It would be much appreciated if someone could email me to put my mind at rest.





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Hi I have a clear lump/mole on my arm sometimes it bleeds but it has been there for about a year I picked it of once but it grew back straight away. Could it be cancerous?





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I do not have moles. But a spot appeared on my leg five years ago. I know because it burned really bad when it appeared. I have had it since. Now another one has appeared on my other leg in the same way. Should I get this checked out? Both spots are brownish and are several shades of brown through them.





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In the video above Dr Christian is quite right to stress how important getting to a doctor is sooner rather than later. Sadly I noticed a flaky patch on the ear of an elderly relative and she went to the GP but it was three months before it was removed at her local hospital. That delay meant that it had spread and she died at home with her face half exploded into mush by the dead decaying cancer cells (they die because they multiply without a proper blood supply apparently). She would have died much sooner due to septicaemia but these days powerful antibiotics keep that at bay. the smell is weird and younger relatives were not allowed in to say goodbye as it was so gruesome. But compared to other cancers-of the liver for example - it was easy to control the pain as the multiplying cells were just hanging off not pressuring nerves presumably. So yes do go to the GP asap but the NHS machine can still delay with fatal consequences. The good news is that you can do tanning as long as you check your skin and get skin cancers treated/removed early!





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I have a small freckle on the Palm of my hand, only just appeared I'm 22 years old. Should I be worried?





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hi i have a mole on my neck and nothing has changed about the look of it but all of a sudden this morning it started really stinging and hurting also very sensitive and it has not stopped being like that could someone help me please:)





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Hello I have a new mole on my hip and it is very sore like a spot and is red on the outside around the edge





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How do you totaly prevent freckles if you cant compleatly avoid the sun and have to be in direct sun for adleast an hour and a halfe everyday? Will you still get them if you cover up and wear sunscrean? How can i not get them under these conditions?





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Hi, I'm 14, female, and i have a red lump on my arm that bleeds a lot, i thought it was BCC because it has a ring of dry skin around it and looks like the pictures I've seen, but the 2 doctors i saw said its probably nothing, i dont think thats correct, I've had it for about 5-6 months, what could it be?





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Hi, I am 28 yrs old female and having problem with face skin having big spots on my cheeks and foreheads since 9 years. I tried everything most creams, homeopathy,(melalite, mopher, retino A) lotions and went to "Sk:n clinic", currently using body shop products, But nothing helped at all. It has made my life miserable. I would be grateful if you guys could help me with it. Thanks in advance.





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Hi Sangita, I am 46 and have suffered on and off with spots since I was about 20. I have tried expensive and relatively cheap lotions all to no avail. I appreciate how spots affect your confidence and spirit. Over the last year I have been using La Roche-Posay skin products, the `Effaclar' range (from Boots about £10 a bottle). It has really made a big, big difference as their products contain no parabens. Parabens are oils and I'm sure most companies use these in their ingredients to prolong the life of their product. As we both know, placing oil on top of oily skin just causes more grease, blackheads & spots :o( Please try this range it has made a really big difference to my skin and confidence. Good luck!

Hi Thank you Julia, I appreciate your information about the big spots. I am going to try it. It's quite embarrassing while walking on road and comes to my mind everyone is looking at me.One more thing the spots on me is like appeared while I was pregnant and it's quite big and found out googling it's called melasma or nearly the same. So, do you think it's the same thing or different. Please I really need help. thanks in advance. ;-)


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