Clumps and clusters of darkly pigmented skin cells are more common on certain skin types, and on average, most people have between 10 and 40 moles that usually form during childhood and the teen years.
Generally, moles are benign, even though some may fade or otherwise look different as time passes. In rare cases, changes to moles can accompany the development of skin cancers, particularly malignant melanoma. Therefore, inspecting moles should be a part of your self-care health routine.
While most moles are brown, there’s no need to be concerned if you have moles of a different color. Black, blue, pink, red, or tan are also common, though less frequent. Round or oval shapes are most common, and they’re not usually larger than ¼ of an inch in diameter, unless they were present at birth. These moles can cover large areas, virtually anywhere on your body.
It’s normal for the appearance of moles to change during hormonal events, such as adolescence or pregnancy, when they can darken and grow. While change in appearance doesn’t always mean you have a skin problem, it’s something that you should monitor closely.
Use the ABCDE mnemonic to help guide your self-assessment of mole changes. Each of these points, or any combination of them, may indicate cancerous activity. If you show one or more of these signs, contact the mole experts at Specialists in Dermatology for an examination and assessment.
If you have more than 50 moles, you may have a skin type that is more prone to developing melanoma. As with many medical conditions, genetic histories of your family may also indicate greater risk, so if one of your parents had skin cancer, your statistical risk climbs.
Having unusually shaped or colored moles can indicate a greater risk of developing melanoma, even if the unusual mole is benign. If you’re born with congenital moles, your chances of these becoming cancerous is higher, though it’s still rare and usually never occurs before puberty.
Chances are that your moles aren’t going to become cancerous, but as with any incidence of the disease, early detection means that chances for beating cancer are better. Skin inspections with Specialists in Dermatology are usually quick and reassuring, and if your mole needs further attention, you’re with the experts.
If you have a question about a mole or any other skin-related issue, call the nearest office of Specialists in Dermatology for personal, compassionate care.