When is a mole cause for concern?

When should you be concerned by the appearance of a mole on your body? In this short video, Dr James Millsom talks about why our moles sometimes change over time, and when you should show a changing mole to your doctor.

Watch the full video now:


"Moles don't necessarily have to become cancerous," says Dr Millsom. "But there are some moles that can change."

Dr Millsom explains why some moles change - usually due to sun exposure that damages the skin's DNA and leads to cell malignancies.

There are various stages of change, with the last stage being malignant melanoma. He describes how moles can sometimes stop changing, but it is impossible to predict which moles will eventually develop into melanoma over time and which moles will stop without intervention.

The best course of action is to monitor every mole and remove any that show suspicious changes, such as an evolution of colour, size, or feel.

Melanomas don't always arise from moles - that is, they often appear anew on clear skin. If you have a new lesion on your skin that looks different from the others, it can be a suspicious sign of skin cancer and you should show your doctor.

Should I be concerned by a new mole on my child?

Most moles and freckles develop in children during their infancy and through their teenage years, so new moles on children are usually expected. However, if your child has a lot of moles or any lesions that stand out from the rest, it's important to get their skin checked by a doctor. All Australians should commence regular skin cancer checks from about sixteen to eighteen years of age and continue every year for their entire lives.

Watch all this and more in the full video above.