It turns out that moles are more frequent than people might believe. The fact is that more than 95% of adults have at least a couple of moles located on different body parts. Of course, people with light, pale skin ten to have more moles than the others.
Moles are simple growths that might occur on any place on the skin and they usually come with black or brown color. They appear when skin cells grow in a group, contrary to their normal growth all over the skin.
The vast majority of moles are benign. However, there is a specific kind of skin cancer called melanoma which can grow inside a mole or very close to a mole.
In case it is detected in its early stage, you will be able to treat and heal melanoma.
By analyzing the skin on a regular basis and focusing on the size, shape, color as well as some changes that occur in the miles, you will be able to tell whether some mole has turned from harmless to malignant.
These are some of the characteristics of moles that you should focus on:
In many cases, harmless moles are symmetrical. Their shape is regular. However, malign moles come with different halves. They are asymmetrical represent a signal that you might be dealing with a melanoma.
A harmless moles comes with regular, smooth borders on each side. On the other hand, a melanoma in its early stage has uneven borders. You will notice irregular, scalloped and undefined edges.
The vast majority of harmless moles come in one color – they are usually black, red or brown. On the other hand, a mole that has a few colors especially not the ones we have mentioned can be an early sign of the presence of melanoma. Moles that have brown color mixed with red, black, blue or white color require immediate consultation with a doctor.
Harmless, benign moles in most cases come with small diameter especially when we compare it to malignant moles. According to some statistics, melanomas are bigger than 6 mm/0.25 inches. However, in their early stage they can be smaller.
Once they occur, benign moles keep their appearance all the time. In case some mole begins to evolve or alter, this may be an early sign of malign melanoma. In case the mole is experiencing changing be it in its shape, size, elevation, color or other characteristics, consult a physician.
Keep in mind that these are only some of the changes you should pay attention to. Also, in case you witness any modifications or appearance of new dark spots on the skin that don’t have the shape and appearance of ordinary moles, talk to your doctor.
There are few other early signs of melanoma like:
- Growth of pigment that goes beyond the borders of a dark spot
- An untreatable sore
- Occurrence of new swelling or redness that affects the surrounding area of a mole
- Pain, tenderness and itchiness of the skin for no apparent reason
- Different changes in the mole’s surface like bleeding, oozing or scaliness.
How to Prevent Melanoma?
There are things that increase the chances of melanoma growth like the aging process, race, gender and hereditary tendencies. These things can’t be managed. However, there are some other things that boost the risk of melanoma occurrence that people can handle. If you want to avoid melanoma, you should:
- Reduce exposure to sun
- Look for shade
- Stay away from the sun
- Stay away from sunlamps and tanning beds
- Don’t forget to keep the children away from the sun.