- Moles are usually harmless, but can degenerate into an aggressive cancer called malignant melanoma.
- There are risk factors which are genetic (light skin complexion, family history of melanoma, multiple moles…) and behavioural (sunlight exposure, lack of use of sunscreen…).
- In any case, it is a good idea to have the moles checked regularly by a dermatologist (skin doctor).
- During the skin examination he/she will use an instrument called a dermatoscope. By using technical criteria (ABCDE) criteria, some moles may have to be followed-up or removed and examined under a microscope (histology).
- Between mole checks it may be a good idea to examine moles yourself and to protect yourself against the sun.
Note: In children modified ABCD criteria should be considered as the presentation of melanoma is different and the index of suspicion is usually low.