Everyone at some point in their life might have come across someone with a skin mole. People tend to think of it as a birthmark. While for medical professionals, that might classify as being an indicator of a serious medical illness.
Any region that has suffered injury or disease can cause the skin to have freckles, moles or skin tags. Known not to be dangerous in most circumstances, for some people they can be a cause for an improper skin appearance. They will then tend to resort to ways to get rid of them. However, it is important to note that certain moles appear from the time of birth. In that scenario, it is unlikely to be a reason for any major concern.
What are moles?
Moles are brown or black patches that grow to a certain size with time. They can nearly occur anywhere on the skin. From face to neck, people have had a mole on their shoulders as well! Moles may occur singularly while in other cases, there might be a group of them.
Moles can start from the time when an infant is born or anytime during the childhood period. Usually, when the person crosses the age of 25, do they stop occurring. According to a study, it is normal to have around more than 10 moles on the skin. Gradually with the passage of time, they may start to change. Change can be in the form of different colouration, size, the growth of hair on the mole. It is common for people to stop having them after crossing a certain age. Your dermatologist, however, would tell the reason and what’s best for you.
Why do moles occur?
There are numerous explanations as to the formation of moles. In normal circumstances, the skin cells grow evenly throughout the region. However, any external or internal change that causes the clustering of these cells will result in the formation of moles.
These cells known as melanocytes give the skin its natural colour. When clustered and exposed to the sun, causes the pigment to darken. That is primarily the reason why moles then turn out to be black or brown. On the other hand, the period of pregnancy may also result in the darkening of the mole.
What are the different types of moles?
A number of medical research studies have been in the process of developing a greater insight into moles. Scientists have been able to categorize moles into two main types mainly being congenital and dysplastic.
Congenital as the name suggests occurs genetically. Congenital nevi are the type of moles that will form at the time of birth. The probability of this type of mole forming remains significantly less. Children who develop a risk of melanoma cancer post-birth have a higher chance of congenital nevi. The size of the mole will typically be the size of a pencil eraser.
Dysplastic moles, unlike its counterpart, are larger in size with a more irregular appearance. The colour ranges from dark brown to black. People who will have 10 or more dysplastic moles. have a considerably higher chance of skin cancer. Noting this aforementioned point, it is important to be aware of the skin changes. Any reported change should be consulted with a dermatologist on an immediate basis.
Can moles be cancerous?
Medical scientists have classified normally occurring moles to be safe. People tend to live a healthy life regardless of where they are present. However, if a mole appears to look different from a normal one, then it can be a cause for concern.
It is pertinent to look out for uneven size, shape and texture. In addition, if the mole appears to bleed infrequently then that could signify the presence of underlying cancer. Skin cancer can be utterly dangerous and fatal if no medical treatment is carried out. As a result, if you feel suspicious then see your near dermatologist for consultation.
What are certain tips to consider?
There are a number of precautionary steps to consider when you suspect your mole to be cancerous. Examining the skin thoroughly yourself or asking someone to do that is a must. Particularly, look out for the region that has moles and is frequently exposed to sun rays. If there appear to be no resultant changes then that might not be a cause for alert. Your dermatologist will either remove the mole surgically or recommend certain medications.
The following list highlights some of the changes one should be aware of.
- An asymmetrical mole where one-half portion does not match the other half
- The irregular and uneven border at the edges
- A discoloured mole. The colour changes frequently with time from turning brown to black to red at times.
- The size of the mole enhancing. Typically, the normal size of the mole is that of a pencil eraser. You should alert yourself if the size happens to be larger.
In certain circumstances, the changes can result in the development of skin cancer. Cancer affects the melanocytes and is thereby known as melanoma.
Should a person remove moles?
There is a whole range of reasons as to why a person will decide to remove a mole. For some people, it might disturb the skin appearance. While in some circumstances, it becomes mandatory as the mole can signify the presence of an underlying illness. Even if, one decides not to get the normal mole surgically removed, he/she will tend to lead a healthy life. However, when the mole happens to get enlarged or darkens then certain steps need to be taken.
The dermatologist in this regard is the best person to decide. The professional by examining the mole will execute treatment accordingly. If the mole tends to be worrisome then it might be removed to prevent from further medical complications.
How are moles treated?
When you consult a dermatologist for your mole problem, a number of treatment procedures will be executed. A biopsy will often be carried out by examining the mole under a microscope. The edges or the entire mole itself might be removed through shaving or cutting. If the melanoma cancer is suspected, this procedure is executed to prevent cancer from spreading. This treatment is followed by stitching of the bruise and ingestion of painkillers.
People at a higher risk of mole development
While a mole on the skin can occur on the skin of any person regardless of age and gender. Yet, some medical professionals have been able to identify a certain group of people who are more prone to development. In areas, where there are long periods of sunlight then that becomes a cause for concern. If the person is exposed to sunlight and does not avoid exposure then the chances of development greatly enhance.