Moles come in all shapes and sizes. And, in some cases, they are revered as beauty marks. Just ask Cindy Crawford how she feels about the mole that sits just above her lip. It has practically become iconic and hasn’t done a single thing to take away from her beauty. In fact, some would argue that her mole has added to her beauty. However, not everyone feels so loving towards their moles. Instead, they spend most of their time thinking about role removal.
It’s important to know that there are different types of moles, and generally speaking, they are not harmful to your health. Of course, melanoma – which is a form of skin cancer – is the biggest thing to look out for. And sometimes moles represent signs that melanoma may be present. Although this may cause some people to worry – especially if they have a lot of moles – knowing the difference between those that are harmless and those that are dangerous is important.
Melanocytic Nevi. According to MoleRemover.org, these are the most common of all moles. The site notes that most adults have anywhere between 10 and 50 of these common moles appearing on places such as the face, neck, chest, back and arms. Melanocytes are the skin cells that carry melanin, which is responsible for our pigmentation. When these cells cluster together, they form round or oval-shaped surfaces. These common moles are generally not harmful.
Dysplastic Nevi. Also known as atypical moles, these are different than common moles in that they are flat and have irregular edges that fade into the surrounding skin, explains the website. They generally have smooth surfaces but can also appear scaly or pebbly, taking on a variety of colours such as pink, red and brown. Although it is very rare, atypical moles have a higher chance of developing melanoma.
Melanoma. As you know, this is a cancerous skin mole. MoleRemover.org explains that they develop when our melanocytes grow rapidly, invading other skin cells. They often look like atypical moles to start, the site explains, but eventually change in appearance, sometimes taking on blue, white or grey shades. As well, they may itch, bleed or feel bumpy. If such symptoms occur, a doctor should be contacted immediately.
It should be stated that while common moles are generally harmless, it’s important to make note of how many moles appear on the skin. According to the National Cancer Institute,” people who have more than 50 common moles have an increased chance of developing melanoma.” There are also other tell-tale signs that common moles may be becoming cancerous. The site lists several things to look out for.
They include changes in colour, size, shape, texture and height of the moles. As well, noticing if the surface of the skin is becoming dry or scaly, whether or not the mole is becoming hard and lumpy and if there is any itchiness, bleeding and oozing are all important. The National Cancer Institute goes on to note that tanning and other prolonged exposure to the sun can increase the risk of developing melanoma.
To strongly reiterate, a doctor should be consulted immediately if such occurrences are noticeable. It’s also important to know that there is a safe and effective mole removal solution available to those who have unwanted moles. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we proudly use The VariLite Laser to remove moles. For more information or to book a consultation, please don’t hesitate to call us at 403-358-5818.