While not every mole is created equal, it seems that the amount of moles found on your right arm could indicate the amount you have on your entire body, and your risk of developing melanoma, says a study.
So, what are the facts? The study published in the British Journal of Dermatology looked at the data from 3,594 healthy, female twins between January 1995 and December 2003. Each set of twins had a skin examination performed which identified their skin type, hair, eye colour, as well as the amount of freckles and moles they had on 17 different parts of the body.
According to the report, the findings from this study were then replicated on a male and female control group involved in a different, UK-based melanoma study.
Interestingly, the results found that the number of moles on a person’s right arm (especially above the elbow) was most predictive of their total number of moles on their body. Females with 7 moles on their right arm were 9 times more likely to have more than 50 moles on their entire body! And not just that, females with more than 11 moles were more likely to have over 100 spread across their body. Researchers say, that this in itself is a strong predictor of melanoma risk.
Other areas that were also considered high predictive regions included women’s legs and the back area for men.
“The findings could have a significant impact for primary care, allowing [general practitioners] to more accurately estimate the total number of moles in a patient extremely quickly via an easily accessible body part,” the researchers said in a press release.
While this is great breakthrough research, more is needed to make definitive results. But in the meantime, if you’ve ever in doubt as to the way your skin or mole may look, always consult your doctor and remember prevention is key – slip, slop slap!