The body has a funny way of operating. One way in which the body sends signals that something’s going on is through the skin. Various skin conditions such as acne and moles can be an underlying warning sign that something is going on with your health. While both of these conditions can also be harmless in nature, knowing when you can and cannot treat them on your own is ideal. Below is a breakdown of what moles are, how they are caused, ways to treat them, and when to call a doctor.
What Are Moles?
Moles are categorized as skin lesions or growths on the skin. They are generally black or brown in color and can appear anywhere on your skin. It helps to know that while these growths can be the sign of something more significant, moles are pretty common throughout a person’s life and can develop at any age. With time, moles can actually begin to change in appearance. What was once a flat dark mark on the face can easily look different in a few years. They can change in size and color; however, sometimes they can disappear altogether.
How do Moles Develop?
Moles generally develop when skin cells grow differently. Instead of spreading out across the skin, skin cells can actually grow into clusters. Moles can eventually darken in colour after exposure to the sun, as a result of puberty, or for women that are pregnant.
Are There Different Types of Moles?
There are essentially two types of moles:
Congenital Nevi – These are moles that tend to appear on the body at birth. Unfortunately congenital nevi moles have an increased risk of turning cancerous as time progresses. If your child does have moles, they will likely be inspected by a doctor as it is recommended to check if it is larger than a pencil eraser. This will ensure that cancer is not already present in the body.
Dysplastic Nevi – These moles do not develop until later on in life and are essentially larger than congenital nevi. They are described as being larger and also awkwardly shaped. Some dysplastic nevi moles can actually have more of an uneven tone to them and could develop into melanoma. If you have ten or more of this type of mole it is suggested that you visit the doctor as your chances of developing skin cancer are a lot higher.
Signs it May be Cancer
Self diagnosis is never an effective solution. As such, if you believe a mole to be cancerous, having your doctor complete a few tests is ideal. While most moles are not dangerous in nature, cancer can develop. Moles that are more than likely cancerous are those that look different in appearance, or moles that develop on the skin after the age of 30. If you’ve noticed significant changes in your mole’s appearance it is best to have a doctor examine it for further diagnosis.
How to Treat Moles
If your mole is not cancerous, there are things you can do to remove the mole on your own. Investing in an effective mole removal product is one option you can try. This is essentially the most painless option. If you’re not comfortable trying to remove the mole on your own, you can also ask a dermatologist (skin doctor) to remove it for you. They can remove the mole by cutting it off and treating the exposed wound.
If the mole is cancerous, which is only something a doctor or dermatologist can tell you, then it will need to be evaluated further. Once a definitive cancer diagnosis is made, the doctor will remove the entire mole to prevent the cancer from spreading.
When it comes to skincare and treatment options it is important that you make the right choices. While a mole could very well be nothing more than a skin growth that you were born with or developed in your youth, it can also be the sign of something more serious. Therefore, it is best that you always keep the lines of communication open with your doctor, so that you can address the matter, get properly diagnosed, and utilize a treatment that works best for you.