Moles are the growth on the skin which are commonly seen in everyone. Moles can be present either at birth or can appear later in life.
Scientifically, a mole is termed as “Nevus”. Nevi can be of different colour, shape, and size. The colour of such bumps can be brown, tan, black, red, blue, pink, flesh-colored or colorless and their shape can be oval, round, or an unordinary one.
Nevi are either slightly elevated or levelled on the skin. Size of the mole can remain unchanged throughout life or you can see some changes in it. Nevi tend to disappear as well. Course is quite unpredictable!
Some nevi also have few hair growing out of them. Nevi can be present on any part of your body, scalp, face, palms and soles and under your nails (on the nailbed).
Type and Guide
Congenital mole: These are present at birth. Approximately, 1 in 100 individuals are born with such kind of spots. Size varies from small to very large (giant).Giant congenital moles carry a risk of developing malignant melanoma, hence they have to be followed up very closely.
Acquired mole: The moles develop after birth, hence the name acquired mole or common mole.
Spitz nevus: Ordinarily, these moles appear in the first decades of an individual’s life. These moles are usually pink, raised, or dome-shaped.
Atypical moles: It is not Melanoma, but remember the risk is higher in an atypical mole. If you have one, keep an eye always for change. These are larger in size with an odd shape or color.
Not all moles turn cancerous, but the harmful ones need to be treated promptly. The following characteristics will serve as a guide to spot the changes early.
- A: Asymmetrical Shape – One half is dissimilar to the other part.
- B: Border – An uneven or scalloped edge.
- C: Color – Varying from one part to another.
- D: Diameter – 6 mm or greater is usually the size of Melanoma when diagnosed, but they can be even smaller.
- E: Evolving – A mole that differs in appearance from the other one or changing in size, shape, or color with the new warnings, like itching or bleeding.
Mole Removal Treatment
Surgical excision of mole and Q switched Nd:YAG laser are the treatment options available for mole removal. Laser mole removal is usually done for smaller moles and one might need 4 to 6 sessions to achieve good results. There is a slight chance of recurrence following the procedure. Surgical excision is done for both aesthetic reasons and in persons where there is a suspicion of melanoma.
Ignorance is bliss but not always! Visit your dermatologist without hesitation if you notice any changes in your mole!!