A mole, or nevi, is a small group of pigmented cells that appear in different parts of the body; moles are an extremely common skin condition. They usually range from light brown to black in color, and may be found in small clusters or as one single lesion. These benign lesions first occur in childhood, and commonly remain on the body in adulthood in most cases. They may also develop anytime during the first 30 years of life. Some moles may gradually change its appearance and color over a period of time, while other moles may remain the same without any obvious changes.
Moles are a result clustered growths of melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells that produce the pigment melanin in the skin. These cell clusters may become dark in color with exposure to the sun, in addition to a combination of other reasons.
Types of Moles
There are different types of moles: congenital moles and dysplastic nevis. Congenital moles appear at birth, while dysplastic nevis appear later in life and larger, irregular lesions. Physical changeg in the moles should be monitored by a dermatologist to avoid any risk of developing cancers, like melanoma.
Most moles are harmless and shouldn't trigger any concern. If an individual older than 30-years-old develops a mole, it should be checked. The same is true if an individual finds a mole on his or her body that looks different compared to other moles on his or her body. If the moles change shape or start growing, it is better to get it checked by ta health care professional. You should consistently monitor your mole if it starts bleeding, feels painful, or if the area is itchy. Parts of the body exposed to the sun, like arms, hands, the neck, and face are more susceptible to get these changes. It is important to devote special attention to these areas of the body. Always consult with a doctor before removing a mole.
There are several characteristics that moles embody, which indicate signs of serious conditions, like cancer. These are called ABCDE's, and are evaluated by a dermatologist to determine the risks of it being cancer.
- Asymmetry – If the moles are irregular with different symmetry in the two halves; it should be checked by a physician.
- Border – Look out for those moles that have irregular edges.
- Color – Different shades in the same mole are signs to keep an eye on.
- Diameter – If the size of the mole is too big, or is growing in size, it should be brought to your doctors attention.
- Evolution – If the mole changes its size, shape, or color over a period of time, it can be a warning sign for a potential problem.
Timely advice by a doctor will help to avoid complications at a later stage.