My big skin freckles: Other causes of pigmented skin lesions
Of course, the most worrying skin lesion is a melanoma. Other lesions include an intradermal naevus, which is also called a common naevus. Most adults as they increase in age will have between 10 and 30 moles. Adults form these since infancy. Their naevi will remain static. Melanomas change in their size, shape or colour either over weeks or months or even a little slower. We must view any new mole that develops after the age of 40 years with suspicion.
A common naevus would be symmetrical in its area. It will be even in texture, light or dark brown colour, and have a sharp margin. These are usually smaller than 5 mm. Naevus have a profile from the skin either being flat or elevated and pedunculated. Anyone that has got over 50 moles is at a much greater risk of malignant melanoma. Remember malignant melanoma can occur in an existing mole or intradermal naevus.
Any patient who has over 50 moles requires careful skin monitoring. These patients get mole checking including dermatoscopy and baseline skin photography. We have to biopsy any lesion that starts to change colour, bleed, itch, is painful or increases in size. This biopsy will exclude transformation of the intradermal naevus into a melanoma.
Dr Jennifer Crawley does mole checks at Clinica London. She will photograph your moles and carry out dermatoscopy. If there are any suspicious moles, she will do a biopsy to look at the cells.