moles on arm
Representational image of moles on the armWiki Commons

Women having more than 11 moles on their right arm could be at greater risk of developing skin cancer.

Scientists have found that the number of moles on a particular body part like the right arm was indicative of the total number of moles on the body and could help in identifying the risk of skin cancer.

"20 to 40% of Melanoma arises from pre-existing moles. More than 100 moles indicate five times greater risk of developing skin cancer", BBC reported.

According to a study conducted at King's College, the London Neavus (mole) count is one of the most important markers for risk of developing Melanoma or skin cancer.

In a primary healthcare setting, counting the number of moles on the entire body would be time consuming, according to an IANS report. The easier way would be to just count the moles on the right arm to get an idea of the number of moles on the body.

Researchers from King's College studied a large group of female twins over a period of eight years. The twins underwent a physical examination. In addition, other factors such as the colour of the eye, skin type, hair and freckles were also recorded for the purpose of the research, the BBC report said.

"Females with more than seven moles on their right arm had nine times the risk of having more than 50 moles on the entire body. Whereas, those who had 11 moles on their right arm were likely to have more than 100 moles in totality," the King's College London website reported.

In the case of males, counting the number of moles on the legs would be more accurate in determining the risks.

This study could be helpful for general practioners. They could use the data to identify people who are at a greater risk of developing the disease.