Thanks to New Zealand’s latitude, its closeness to the sun in summer (a real thing, see here), its cleaner air and the lower ozone levels, the UV radiation from the sun is very strong in summer in this part of the world. There is a high incidence of skin cancer and it is common to have your moles checked (sometimes mapped) to catch any that might become a problem.
Though I grew up in England and didn’t even go abroad until I was 18 (a trip to France), or get on a plane until I was 20 (when I went to New Jersey for a year), I thought I should have my moles checked and went to a clinic in Christchurch. I love this graphic in the waiting room:
I had one suspect mole (1989 lying on the beach at Durdle Door on a windy day in summer?) and the doctor recommended it be taken out, so my doctor did (Molecheck charges $270 for the procedure and my GP charges $150).
I’m now writing this with the mole gone leaving some stitches that will be taken out tomorrow. Hopefully, that’s it!
Update: it was an intradermal naevus - not malignant and no further treatment needed - phew!