Moles, which are clinically known as nevi, are growths that can develop on the skin. A mole can appear anywhere, and although it is often round, a mole can be elevated or flat, smooth or textured. In addition, moles can appear in clusters.
Moles are caused by melanocytes, which are the cells that give pigment to the skin. When melanocytes grow in groups, a mole develops. If a mole becomes problematic, it may be removed by an aesthetic dermatologist. Here are a few questions and answers about moles:
What is a normal size of a mole?
Normally, the diameter of a mole is less than that of a pencil eraser.
How many moles are considered normal?
Most moles develop by the time a person reaches the age of 30, and it is not unusual to have between 10 and 40 moles by the time you reach adulthood.
Do moles always require medical intervention for removal?
Some moles actually disappear over time on their own.
Are there different types of moles?
There are several different types of moles, and some are more likely than others to become cancerous. They include the following:
Atypical Dysplastic Nevi
These moles have an irregular shape and tend to be bigger than a pencil eraser. In addition, they may appear darker in the center.
People who have at least 10 dysplastic nevi are 12 times more likely to develop a type of skin cancer called melanoma.
Congenital nevi are already present when a person is born. They are usually larger than typical moles.
What should you look for when examining a mole?
There are several characteristics you should consider when you examine a mole. They are often termed the ABCDEs for the first letter in each observable characteristic. The following characteristics can sometime indicate that a growth may be cancerous:
When you look at a mole, its halves do not match.
The edges of a mole are irregular or jagged.
The color of the mole is inconsistent. It may be lighter in some areas and darker in others.
The mole's diameter is wider than that of a pencil eraser.
A mole that changes in size, color or shape over time can indicate a problem.
The majority of moles are harmless, but certain changes in appearance can indicate a problem. If you are concerned about a mole, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist as soon as possible. For more information, talk to companies like Appearance Dermatology.
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