When it comes to skin health, people are being encouraged to proactively check their moles, as changes can suggest skin cancer.
Every year in Ireland, over 11,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer and this figure is projected to double by 2045.
Pharmacy chain, Boots Ireland, has announced a rollout of its Mole Scanning Service, which is now available in 17 stores nationwide.
It uses a special device called a SIAscope to scan moles and pigmented lesions. Images are obtained using the SIAscope in a private consultation room, with a consultation typically lasting around 20 minutes.
The images and information collected are then sent securely and assessed by a dermatology specialist. Each person will receive an individual assessment report.
"Many people in Ireland have fair skin and burn easily, and UV rays can cause skin damage even on overcast days. We have seen growing rates of skin cancer diagnosis in Ireland, but if spotted early, up to 90% of cases are curable. We hope this service will encourage people to be more proactive about their skin health and help identify changes that might be suspicious," commented Boots pharmacist, Heather Feeney.
She pointed out that moles can sometimes be in areas that are hard to view, and it can be difficult to notice gradual changes.
"This simple scan is a great way to either put your mind at ease, or quickly move to get further investigation if needs be," she added.
When checking moles, people should consider the ABCDE guide:
-A - Asymmetry: Irregular shape. The two halves of a mole should be symmetrical
-B - Borders: Look out for unclear, irregular or ragged boundaries against normal skin
-C - Colour: Look out for changes in colour, especially black, blue or uneven colours
-D - Diameter: Look for moles that are more than 5-6mm in diameter and look for changes in size
-E - Evolving: Look for changes in shape, size and colour, itching or bleeding of existing moles, or the development of a new mole.
The Mole Scanning Service costs €39 for one mole scanned, and €19 for each additional mole scan, up to a maximum of four moles. For more information, click here.
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