I recently had a mole removed in Barrington’s hospital and since then I have spoken to Dr. Jennifer Lynch about skincare and what to look out for when you are checking brown spots. I asked her some very important questions about mole care, skincare and sunbeds!
What are the main signs to look out for with moles?
Look out for rapid growth. If a mole grows quickly, like doubles it’s size in less than 6 months.
Look at the shape of the edges. If it goes from a nice oval / round to being scalloped or moth eaten or grows off on one direction.
Look at the colour, especially more than 2 browns, darker in particular. If a mole draws attention to itself being itchy, sensitive, tingly or bleeds easily.
If something does crop up, a change in a mole or something scaly flaky weepy crusty on your skin and it’s not healing up, my advice is to get it see to early!
What advice would you have for parents and their kids in the sun?
Being outdoors is fabulous. For kids less than two, stay in the shade and cover up well with cotton clothes. Wear a hat with a brim. Never ge sun burnt. Sun burn 6 times in your life doubles your life time risk of skin cancer. Blistering sun burn just once does the same. There is no such thing as a safe tan despite the fact that most parents think it is a good healthy sign at the end of the summer.
And what general skincare advice would you have for people?
Bottom line is that skin cancer in Ireland for Irish people with Celtic skin is a real risk. We have over 10,000 new skin cancers a year in Ireland. Also there has been an increase in melanoma in recent years.
Irish people must mind their skin from March to Sept every day due to the high UV levels. It is nothing to do with blue sky, yellow sun or temperatures as we have little or none of those. We have high UV levels which causes damage to your skin.
Irish people are great to protect their skin abroad on a foreign sun holiday but back in Ireland, the cultural belief would be that it’s not necessary. An alternative to a skin care product would be a sun hat with a brim. When buying a skin care product, make sure it protects you against UVA and UVB, the 2 types of UV rays in the environment that can damage your skin.
What are your thoughts on sunbeds?
I would ban every sun bed on the planet and never encourage anybody of any age to use them.