Skin moles are a common occurrence, often raising questions and concerns among our patients. Understanding the nature of moles, their potential significance, and the associated risks is essential for maintaining skin health. In this post, we address some of the most frequently asked questions about skin moles, providing expert answers and shedding light on this often misunderstood topic.
Skin moles, medically known as melanocytic nevi, are small, pigmented spots that appear on the skin’s surface. They are typically brown or black, but can also be pink, red, or flesh-coloured. Moles are formed when melanocytes, the skin cells responsible for producing pigment, grow in clusters instead of spreading evenly throughout the skin.
Most moles are harmless and pose no threat to health. They often appear during childhood or adolescence and may increase in number and size with age. However, certain moles can develop into melanoma, a type of skin cancer. It is crucial to monitor moles for any changes in size, shape, colour, or texture, as these can be signs of malignant transformation.
Follow our quick guide here. The ABCDE rule is a helpful guide for identifying potential signs of melanoma:
The appearance of new moles is relatively common, especially during adolescence and young adulthood. However, it is essential to monitor these new moles closely. If a new mole exhibits any suspicious characteristics or changes rapidly, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist for evaluation. Early detection is key in ensuring the timely treatment of any potential skin concerns.
Moles can be removed for both cosmetic and medical reasons. If a mole is suspected to be cancerous or shows signs of atypical features, a dermatologist may recommend a biopsy or complete excision. Additionally, some individuals may choose to remove moles for cosmetic purposes if they find them aesthetically undesirable. It is important to consult a dermatologist to determine the appropriate course of action for mole removal.
While some risk factors for melanoma, such as family history and genetic predisposition, are beyond an individual’s control, there are several preventive measures that can reduce the risk:
This blog post is not to be used in the place of in-clinic medical opinion. It is important to head to your GP or dermatologist if you notice any changes in your skin. At No. 23 Skin, we complete a lot of mole checks annually and our dermatologists each have almost 20 years of experience, so if you need help privately, Contact us here or on 02039411815 – we’re a friendly bunch and love to chat about your skin.
Helen and Dr Cherry