One of the easiest ways to spot skin cancer at a relatively early stage is by checking any moles that are on your body. They’re like life’s smoke detectors, and they’re pretty cool. However, what do you do if you can’t see yours anymore? Tattoos can quite often cover up moles, which can make things a little difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for. However, some tattooers are taking part in a new initiative in the UK that is teaching tattooers how to spot those early signs for their customers.
Quite often, if there is a change in someone’s skin like a mole, it’s actually someone around them that has noticed. It makes sense to me to teach tattooers, who look at skin constantly. From NetDoctor:
North Bristol NHS Trust is now holding training for tattoo artists to help them spot moles or growths that could be potential melanomas. Jaye Kissane, Macmillan skin cancer specialist nurse who has helped organise the scheme, says,
If you’re concerned about this kind of thing, I would recommend considering colour and placement of any tattoos around moles. For reference, you can see a photo of one of my own moles on my arm which is still visible under yellow ink, so you don’t always have to completely avoid tattooing over them for them to still be visible. However, if you’ve already covered one up, don’t worry- there are other signs of spotting this that NetDoctor has outlined:
The “ABCD” rule can help staying on top of changes:
Asymmetry: The two halves of the mole do not look the same
Border: The edges of the mole are irregular, blurred or jagged
Colour: The colour of the mole is uneven, with more than one shade
Diameter: The mole is wider than 6 mm in diameter (the size of a pencil eraser).
Your skin is super important guys! Don’t let yourself down by ignoring those early signs! I think this is a really great scheme, and hopefully we’ll be seeing other places very soon offering the same type of training to tattooers on a large scale.