The vast majority of common moles are benign or non-cancerous.
Common moles are primarily a representation of damaged skin cells due to exposure to sunlight.
There is a sub category of common moles called dysplastic moles that can develop into a malignant or melanoma skin cancer. Dysplastic moles are larger than a typical common mole (often more than 5mm wide) and are an irregular shape. Most dysplastic moles do not develop into a melanoma skin cancer and tend to remain stable throughout a persons life. Malignant moles occur when a skin growth mutates and evolves in an irregular or uncontrollable manner.
People who have more than 50 common moles are particularly at an increased risk of melanoma skin cancer. Anyone who is routinely exposed to sunlight irrespective of their skin type is at risk of being diagnosed with skin cancer, which is why the incidence rate of skin cancer is so high in Australia.
Melanoma is the least common skin cancer, but also the most deadly. Sadly, around 1,500 Australians die each year of melanoma skin cancer.
It is also important to note that skin cancer is not just about malignant moles. The most common type of skin cancer, non-melanoma skin cancer, is divided into two different types: Basal cell carcinoma and Squamous cell carcinoma. These types of skin cancer are also caused by the cumulative exposure to the sun are where skin cells have been damaged by the sun but are represented differently on the skin to the common mole.
If you are in doubt or worried about a mole or skin growth on your body you should seek medical attention. Please also see our blog on how often you should consider getting a skin cancer check.
Dermatologists recommend UPF sun protective clothing and a broad brim sun hat as the best way to prevent sunburn, skin cancer and skin ageing.
Solbari Sun Protection is the leading sun protective clothing brand in Australia with customers in over 60 countries. Solbari offers an award winning range of sun protective clothing, broad brim sun hats, UPF arm sleeves and sun umbrellas.
You can find out more about Solbari's certified UPF50+ sun protective range by clicking the blue links below: