Moles are the most common form of skin lesions, and most people notice them developing on their skin between the ages of 10 and 40. These lesions are usually benign, but they require keen monitoring because some moles have a tendency to develop into melanoma (skin cancer). Moles can be a problem due to both cosmetic and health reasons, so it is important to know about their anatomy, causes, and when to worry about them.
Types of mole appearance
Known as “nevi” in medical terms, moles are pigmented spots on the outer layer of the skin. When melanocytes in the skin produce melanin just under the skin surface (epidermis), the melanin can clump and form a mole; sometimes the clump can be large enough to raise the skin.
Moles are normally round or oval in shape, and can be flat or raised (like a lesion). Their colors range from black, brown, pink, red, or even dark blue. Changes in their appearance are uncommon, but they may darken due to hormonal changes if an individual is going through the puberty phase or is pregnant. Moles may fade or even disappear after 50 years or so; some may rise and eventually fall off.
Moles can also be present at birth and are called congenital nevi. Other types include compound moles, junctional moles, dermal moles, and sebaceous moles. However, the type to watch out for is atypical moles (dysplastic nevi), because they may develop into melanoma – they can be easily identified due to the irregularity in color, shape, or form. Congenital moles are also more likely to form into melanoma than other nevi types, especially if they are larger than eight inches in diameter.
The causative factors of appearance of moles on the skin are unknown, but the atypical mole type is often linked to family genetics. Women can suffer from a breakout if their parents had a large mole count. Exposure to sunlight can also accelerate the production on the skin. However, the “worrisome” moles that may lead to melanoma often appear after the age of 35. In fact, any moles that appear after the age of 35 must always be checked by a doctor.
It is often assumed that women with fewer breakouts (less than 50) are less likely to develop skin cancer. However, recent studies show that despite the melanoma rate being higher in individuals with more moles; those with lesser moles are more likely to develop a more aggressive form of melanoma. Therefore, you’re recommended to keep a stern check on your skin for any growths, irrespective of the number of moles.
Cosmetic surgery is often recommended as a straightforward and quick procedure to remove moles. But this treatment option is costly, may result in side effects, and is time-consuming as most procedures are classified as day-cases.
Safer options include mole removal homeopathic topical products made with high quality plant extracts. Such solutions can be used at home and can be directly applied to the affected area without any pain and scarring. Results require just a couple of weeks, and only stubborn moles may take longer.
You can also try out home remedies for removing medium-grade moles. For instance, the inside of the banana peel can be used on the mole and then a bandage can be used for cover. The mole will fall off after it dries up.