why do we have moles on our body
There are several lesions that are very common and benign (non-cancerous). These conditions include moles, freckles, benign lentigines, and seborrheic keratoses. Moles are growths on the skin that are usually brown or black. Moles can appear anywhere on the skin, alone or in groups. Most moles appear in early childhood and during the first 25 years of a person's life. It is normal to have between 10-40 moles by adulthood. As the years pass, moles usually change slowly, becoming raised and/or changing color. Sometimes, hairs develop in the mole. Some moles may not change at all, while others may slowly disappear over time. What Causes a Mole? Moles occur when cells in the skin grow in a cluster instead of being spread throughout the skin. These cells are called melanocytes, and they make the pigment that gives skin its natural color.
Moles may darken after exposure to the sun, during the teen years, and during. Congenital nevi are moles that are present at birth. Congenital nevi occur in about one in 100 people. These moles are slightly more likely to develop into
( ) than are moles that appear after birth. A mole or freckle should be checked if it has a diameter of more than a pencil eraser or any characteristics of the ABCDEs of melanoma (see below). Dysplastic nevi are moles that are generally larger than average (larger than a pencil eraser) and irregular in shape. They tend to have uneven color with dark brown centers and lighter, uneven edges. These nevi are somewhat more likely to become melanoma. In fact, people who have 10 or more dysplastic nevi have a 12 times higher chance of developing melanoma, a serious form of.
Any changes in a mole should be checked by a dermatologist to evaluate for. How Do I Know if a Mole Is Cancer? The vast majority of moles are not dangerous. Moles that are more likely to be are those that look different than other existing moles or those that first appear after age 25. If you notice changes in a mole's color, height, size, or shape, you should have a dermatologist (skin doctor) evaluate it. You also should have moles checked if they bleed, ooze, itch, or become tender or painful. According to the Mayo Clinic, scientists don t understand why moles form or whether they have a purpose. However, it s not uncommon for adults to have from 10 to 40 moles on their bodies, says the Cleveland Clinic.
Most moles develop in childhood, but some develop later on. Although it s normal for moles to change or even disappear, moles that look different or crop up suddenly in adulthood should be checked out. Melanin, a naturally occurring pigment providing skin color, produces cells called melanocytes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Sometimes, these cells cluster together for unknown reasons and cause moles. However, some scientists believe moles are caused from skin damaged by the sun, according to American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Moles tend to get darker with more sun exposure, says the Cleveland Clinic, but sometimes, they get darker during puberty or pregnancy. Moles are common, though, and are usually harmless. Although it s normal for moles to change slightly or disappear in adulthood, if they change shape, or brand new moles quickly develop, it s important to seek advice from your health-care provider who can determine your next step.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, if you start to see any change in mole color, size or form, or you notice mole bleeding, itching, scaling or pain, see a dermatologist. The Cleveland Clinic suggests examining moles on a regular basis. Use a mirror or ask a loved one to help you to inspect moles in places you can t easily see, such as the back of your thigh. Double-check moles on skin regularly exposed to sun. Sometimes, moles turn to cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, several types of moles have a higher than average risk of becoming cancerous. Congenital nevi--moles people are born with--could increase the risk of a fatal type of skin cancer called malignant melanoma.
Atypical, dysplastic, nevi moles that are hereditary, irregular and bigger than a quarter inch also can cause malignant melanoma, say the Mayo Clinic. Finally, the more moles people have, the greater at risk they are for melanoma. Men are most likely to develop melanoma on their backs, whereas women are most likely to develop melanoma on their lower legs, says the Cleveland Clinic. If your dermatologist decides you have a dangerous-looking mole, he or she will start by taking a biopsy of the mole, explains the Cleveland Clinic. It s a safe and easy procedure, and if it s determined that the mole is cancerous, it s then carefully removed by a simple surgical procedure. If caught early and removed, cancer is not likely to spread.
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