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Moles , Moles Skin -Mole removal , Get rid mole , Cancerous mole

The medical term for a mole is a NEVUS (mole is Latin for "spot."). Nevi are the plural of nevus. Congenital nevi are moles present at birth; acquired nevi develop anytime later. Nevi are made up of a particular type of cell, and the name is used to distinguish them from other, similar appearing fleshy growths

Moles are growths on the skin. Doctors call moles nevi (one mole is a nevus). These growths occur when cells in the skin, called melanocytes, grow in a cluster with tissue surrounding them. Moles are usually pink, tan, brown, or flesh-colored. Melanocytes are also spread evenly throughout the skin and produce the pigment that gives skin its natural color. When skin is exposed to the sun, melanocytes produce more pigment, causing the skin to tan, or darken.

Moles are very common. Most people have between 10 and 40 moles. A person may develop new moles from time to time, usually until about age 40. Moles can be flat or raised. They are usually round or oval and no larger than a pencil eraser. Many moles begin as a small, flat spot and slowly become larger in diameter and raised. Over many years, they may flatten again, become flesh-colored, and go away.

Symptoms of moles

Although the typical mole is a plain, brown spot, moles come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. They can be flesh-colored, reddish-brown, medium to dark brown, or blue; vary in shape from oval to round, and be as small as a pinhead or large enough to cover an entire limb. Moles that are larger than 8 inches in diameter and present at birth are a special problem. They may need to be removed to avoid the risk of malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

The surface of a mole can be smooth or wrinkled, flat or raised. Sometimes a mole may start out flat and brown and later become slightly raised and lighter in color. Some may become raised enough that they form a small stalk and are eventually rubbed off. Others may simply disappear.

Although most moles develop by age 20, they can continue to appear until midlife. There are also certain times in your life when moles are more apt to change; for example, they're likely to become darker, larger and more numerous because of hormonal changes during adolescence and pregnancy and with the use of birth control pills

Causes of moles

The tendency to develop atypical moles is inherited (runs in families).

Exposing the skin to sunlight is thought to lead to the development of atypical moles.

Fair skin that burns easily

History of blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence

History of dysplastic moles (unusual or atypical)

Diagnosis of moles

It's important to check your moles regularly and be aware of any changes in colour, shape or size. Most changes are harmless and are due to a benign (non-cancerous) increase of pigment cells in the skin. However, you should see your GP if a mole looks unusual so it can be checked out.

Your GP will ask you about recent changes that have happened to the mole and when the changes started. They may also ask you about your family history to find out how likely you are to be at risk of melanoma.

If only mild changes are found, your GP will probably take a clinical photograph of the mole, which can be compared again at a later, follow-up visit. If the mole shows signs of turning malignant (cancerous) your GP may recommend cutting out a sample (biopsy) of all or part of the mole. This can usually be carried out in the surgery. The sample is then sent to a laboratory to be looked at under a microscope for signs of cell change.

If the mole is a suspected melanoma, you may be referred to a plastic surgeon or dermatologist for treatment. If there's one in your area, you may be sent to a pigmented lesion clinic - a type of dermatology clinic that specializes in identifying suspicious moles and diagnosing malignant melanoma.

Treatment of moles

The majority of moles and other blemishes are benign (not-cancer). They will never be a threat to the health of the person who has them. Spots or blemishes that warrant medical concern are those that do something out of the ordinary-those that act differently from other existing moles. This includes any spot that changes in size, shape or color, or one that bleeds, itches, becomes painful, or first appears when a person is past twenty.

Occasionally, a mole may become a cancerous growth. Therefore, it's best to get medical advice if you notice a mole that does not follow the normal pattern. A dermatologist may be able to assure you that the mole is harmless. To accomplish this, he or she may study a sample of it under a microscope for an accurate diagnosis.

The dermatologist will remove the mole, or part of it, so that thin sections from the mole can be cut and examined under a microscope. This is a simple and harmless procedure. If the growth was only partially removed and it is found to be cancerous, then the entire lesion and an extra margin of safety will need to be removed.

A person may wish to get rid of moles that are in areas of trauma, where clothing can irritate them, or simply because they are unattractive. The most common methods of removal include numbing the spot and then shaving the mole off, or for some moles, cutting out the entire lesion and stitching the area closed.

Most procedures used to remove moles take only a short time and can be performed in a dermatologist's office. Sometimes a mole will recur after it is removed. If a removed mole does begin to reappear, the patient should return to see the doctor.

Prevention of moles

If you have a family member who has had a melanoma and you have atypical moles, you should have a complete skin exam each year.

People with many atypical moles should have a complete skin exam each year. You should also check your own moles once a month. If one mole seems to be changing more than your other moles or is marching out of step with your other moles it should be removed immediately.

Use sunscreen daily on exposed skin areas.

Removal of moles

Although most moles are harmless and can be safely left alone, moles may be treated under the following conditions:

Possible malignancy: a mole that has bled, has an unusual shape, is growing rapidly or changing colour.

Nuisance moles: a mole that is irritated by clothing, comb or razor.

Cosmetic reasons: the mole is unsightly.

Self-examination of moles

For self-detection of moles follow the following simple tips:

Perform a self-skin examination monthly: report significant changes in moles or new lesions to your doctor or dermatologist.

Arrange to have a skin examination regularly if you have numerous moles, atypical moles, previous skin cancer or your doctor recommends this.

Photographic records can be useful if there are numerous moles. Sophisticated digital mole mapping systems including dermoscopic images are of particular value in the diagnosis of melanomam as subtle changes can be detected on repeat scanning

General Home Care

It's best to avoid overexposure to the sun, but if you must be out of doors, try to stay out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when ultraviolet rays are most intense.

Twenty to 30 minutes before going outdoors, apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Reapply every two hours, especially if you're swimming or involved in vigorous activities. Some sunscreens contain substances that block both types of ultraviolet rays, ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). Choose sunscreens with avobenzone, titanium dioxide, or transparent or micro dispersed zinc oxide listed on the ingredient label.

Broad-brimmed hats, long sleeves and other protective clothing also can help you avoid damaging UV rays. You might also want to consider clothing that's made with fabric specially treated to block UV radiation .

When To Call The Doctor

Consult the doctor if you notice the following signs and symptoms


Itching or burning

Oozing or bleeding


Scaly or crusty

Suddenly different in size, shape, color or elevation

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