Moles are flat or protruding skin growths that are generally harmless. Their colour varies from pink flesh tones to dark brown to black. Everyone has moles but the number varies from person to person. Some having just a few while the others having a lot. ”Crops” of moles appear sometimes, especially during early teens. New ones can develop at any age but are more common before the age of 40. After its appearance a mole usually stays like that, for life, without becoming a medical problem. In a youngster a growing or changing mole is usually harmless, but still a doctor’s evaluation is advised.
Whereas a mole which changes color, size or bleeds in an adult is a matter of concern and warrants an immediate doctor’s evaluation.
The number of moles a person has often depends on the following factors
- Family history
- Amount of sun exposure.
Moles may occur at any age but commonly occur below the age of 40 years or in the early teens.
Kindly consult a doctor if you notice the following changes or under the following instances
- Bleeding mole
- Mole of an unusual shape
- Rapidly growing mole
- Changing colour
A mole that is unsightly may be removed for cosmetic reasons.
A mole can be removed completely by doing a full thickness biopsy of the skin down to the fat. The cut edges will be approximated by stiches. The biopsied portion would be sent to the laboratory for Microscopic examination to determine the true nature of the condition. The operated area heals with scar formation.
HOW TO KNOW IF A MOLE SHOULD BE EVALUATED BY A DOCTOR?
Consult a doctor if notice any of the following or a change in the following parameters
- Symmetry– An asymmetrical mole should be evaluated.
- Borders– The borders of mole should have a sharp demarcation of colours should not have jagged edges.
- Colour– The colour of mole should be uniform all over. If more than one colour exists consult your doctor.
- Diameter– Moles larger than 6 mm (~the size of a pencil eraser) should be evaluated by a doctor.
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