Identify the Moles on Your Skin with CoLaz
We all have them. They’re dotted all over our bodies at random intervals and they come in various shapes, sizes, textures, and colours. Moles are colored spots on your skin which are caused by a high concentration of pigment-producing cells known as melanocytes. They’re often harmless. The medical name for a pigmented mole is a melanocytic nevus or just nevus. Multiple moles are known as nevi.
Many moles are often benign. If a mole is present from birth, it’s often referred to as a birthmark.Common skin growths, everyone has at least a few moles, and some people can have as many as 40. They can appear on any part of your body including the scalp, soles of your feet, and on the palms of your hands.
Moles appear when skin cells grow in a cluster rather than how they usually grow spread throughout the skin. These cells are called melanocytes, and they make the pigment that gives skin its natural colour. Moles maydarken after exposure to the sun, during the teen years, and during pregnancy.
Moles range in colour and shape,they are typically medium to dark brown, but they can also be skin-coloured or dark black. Most moles are flat, relatively even in colouring and regular in size and shape. Some moles are raised, these are often soft to touch and lighter in colourtoo. Most moles range between a couple of mm to 1 cm in size and diameter.
Nowadays, we're forever being warned to look after our skin in order to avoid getting skin cancer, and that includes paying care and attention to the moles on our skin. But we don't all necessarily know what to look out for. What are the tell-tale signs which indicate that your mole has changed and may have the potential to become cancerous, and what do you need to know to reassure yourself they're perfectly normal?
Causes of Moles
There’s no known cause behind the purpose of moles or why they form. Most moles develop when we’re young children, though some do appear later on in adulthood. Although they can be normal and benign in their appearance and disappearance, any moles that crop up too suddenly should be checked out.Moles also have a tendency to get darker with more sun exposure, and sometimes, they also get darker during puberty or pregnancy.
How to Check Moles
It's crucial to keep an eye on moles because they can change over your lifetime. When checking them out, keep in mind the ABCDEs of moles:
- Asymmetry: Moles that are not symmetrical with different looking halves;
- Border: Ragged, blurred or smudgy borders or edges of the mole;
- Colour: Moles which are different colours such as black, blue, white, or red;
- Diameter: Moles which are larger than the diameter of a pencil;
- Evolving: Moles which look different from others and/or have changed in size, colour or shape.
The last one, ‘E' is the most crucial. Any new or changing mole should be looked at by a doctor.
What to Do with Infected Moles
Just like any other part of your body, moles can become infected:
Symptoms of an infected mole include:
- Swelling or redness
- Bleeding or crusting
- Pus discharge
- Pain or high fever
A mole can get infected through itching or scratching as well as from other irritations. Mole infections can also occur from the presence of foreign organisms, such as a virus or fungus, or from a scrape or wound at the site of the mole. Typically, infections are caused by bacteria that usually live on your skin.
If you see a change in the appearance of your mole or it begins to bleed, make an appointment with your dermatologist. It's important not just to assume the mole is irritated and attempt to manage the situation yourself. It could be a change in the malignancy of the mole so, it's vital to get the situation checked by a doctor.
When it comes to knowing which mole aesthetics could be cause for concern, and which most likely mean you've got nothing to worry about there’s a good guiding rule for checking out abnormalities. Moles are very much like family, and there should always be another mole that looks the same or similar. If you have a mole that looks out of place on your body and too different from others around it, professional guidance from a skin cancer specialist. In addition, seek medical help if you have any new or changing moles on your skin.
Some people are genetically at a higher risk of melanoma than others due to any family history of melanoma, personal skin history and sun exposure, having a high than usual number moles, or simply having atypical moles. Anyone who fits this description in any manner should monitor their moles according to the above guidelines.
Exposure to the sun’s UV light can increase the chance of a mole becoming cancerous. If you have a lot of moles, you need to be extra careful about your skincare underneath the sun.
Moles and Cancer
Sometimes, moles can turn cancerous. Several mole types have a higher than usual risk of becoming cancer. Congenital nevi—the moles that people are born with—are at risk of a fatal type of skin cancer known as malignant melanoma. Atypical, dysplastic, nevi moles that are genetically hereditary, irregular in shape, and bigger than 6mm (the end of a pencil)can also cause malignant melanoma.
In addition, the more moles people have in number, the greater at risk they are for melanoma too. Men are prone to develop melanoma on their backs, whereas women are prone to develop melanoma on their lower legs.
If your dermatologist or doctor thinks you have a dangerous-looking mole, she or he will begin by taking a biopsy of the mole. It’s a safe and easy procedure to check the nature of the mole, and if the mole is identified as cancerous, it can be carefully removed by a simple surgical procedure. If caught early and removed, cancer is not likely to spread.