Moles are small black spots that appear on the skin. Each of us has moles. For this reason, it is important to learn to recognize the dangerous ones that could turn into melanoma, one of the most common forms of skin cancer. To avoid that you can go to a mole clinic to diagnose and remove potentially harmful moles.
What are moles?
Moles, also known as pigmented nevi are nests of pigmented cells that appear in the skin in the form of red dots, brown, black or blue. Almost everyone has moles. Moles can be flat, prominent or wrinkled. They may also, in some cases be covered with a few hairs. Some moles disappear as a result of aging and the rest of them may be removed in a mole clinic. It is totally up to you.
When are moles dangerous?
Moles normally are harmless. In some cases however, they can become dangerous. Medical advice is necessary if there are changes in color or size of a mole. Itching, pain, bleeding or inflammation at this level, is also a big concern, which is the first signal that you should go a mole clinic. Some moles have a higher risk of malignancy. In this category of dangerous moles, enter the large ones that are present on the shin from birth. This type of moles, called congenital nevi, can significantly increase the risk of melanoma, a form of skin cancer.
Cutaneous nevi with more than 20 cm in diameter have the greatest risk of malignancy. Such moles should be examined regularly by your doctor in a mole clinic. Moles with sizes of pencil erasers, irregularly shaped, brown center and light-colored edges, are known as atypical or dysplastic nevi. Dysplastic nevi also show a high probability of becoming carcinogenic. Other important factors that increase risk of melanoma is excessive sun exposure, family history and certain physical features (those who have white skin, red hair and blue eyes are more prone to occurrence of melanoma).
Diagnosis of dangerous moles
If there is some doubt regarding the nature of a benign or malignant pigment mole, the doctor can harvest a sample of tissue which will then be examined in the laboratory of a mole clinic under a microscope. The analysis is called a biopsy.
Treatment for such malignant moles
If, after performing a biopsy, the doctor discovers the existence of malignant cells surgery will be needed. The mole with its surrounding edges should be discarded. Typically, a mole that was removed does not reappear. Postoperative treatment will be determined together with your doctor, depending on the degree of development of disease and the results from the laboratory of the mole clinic.
Removal of such benign moles
The benign moles do not require special treatment. They are harmless. If you want to remove for cosmetic reasons, a specialist doctor can easily perform the operation. The best known method to remove moles is by excision.
Normal appearance is as variable edged spots and the color can be yellow, brown, brown, black or blue.
If your skin seems to be "spotted" by moles, do not fret! Some people make a big fuss about dysplastic nevi syndrome (know it sounds scary, but you have no reasons to worry!). The phenomenon is characterized by the appearance of many nevi bizarre pigmentation in areas less "visited" the moles - genitalia, legs, buttocks, breasts and scalp.
On the other hand, some moles are characterized by a tendency to become, over time, malignant melanoma (skin cancer). Of course, this does not necessarily mean that you are the one targeted, but we need to pay attention to these warning signs of the mole:
If you notice any of the mentioned changes, it's a must you go to a dermatological consultation. Treatment involves surgical removal of mole, as soon as it shows one or more of these signs.
We know surgery is scary idea, but executed properly (with appropriate depth and safety margin), surgery does not present any risk. There are a number of risk factors favoring skin cancer that is mole derived. They are:
In the summer, when going to the beach, do not forget to also protect your moles: choose a cream with high protection, especially if you have a light skin (white or gray)!