Most of us can quickly identify the moles that we have on our skin, but what about the skin cancer moles on your back – would you even know if you had any? The trouble with possible or potential skin cancer moles on your back is that you cannot get a good view of them, so they are hard to keep an eye on. So what can you do to prevent those moles that are out of sight from becoming a problem without you even knowing?
What types of moles are cancerous?
The vast majority of the moles on your body (or on your back) will be entirely harmless and will stay that way. But it is still essential that you keep track of any changes because changes in moles can mean that they are turning in melanomas. The signs to look out for are:
- Previously round moles are becoming jagged or irregular in shape.
- Moles that have started to bleed, itch, or ooze.
- Moles that have grown to a large size in a short period of time.
- Moles that have begun to develop various colours rather than being a uniform color.
Why are moles on back significant?
Many people find that they develop moles on their backs, simply because this area is often exposed to the sun when on holiday or at the beach. You may not be as aware of how sunburned you are becoming on your back, compared to those areas you might be able to see. You may also find it harder to apply sunscreen to your back compared to your arms and legs. So, your back may have more moles of the dangerous variety than you realize.
How do I track my back moles?
The very best way to keep a close watch on your back moles is to use an app to take photos. Get a friend or family member to take closeups of certain moles and have one fullback photo so you can track the positions of all of the moles. You can then take regular photos to track changes such as those described above.
How do I protect my back from melanoma?
The answer to this is simple. You need to have a good awareness of how much exposure your back has to the sun and remember to cover up when appropriate. This might mean staying in the shade, wearing a shirt or tee-shirt, or using sunscreen cream. Get a friend to apply your cream so you can reach everywhere.
In fact, these rules apply to all parts of your body, not just your back, and can mean the difference between moles that become dangerous and those that remain harmless.