Our skin tells a lot about our health. From its colour, to the amount we sweat and of course how it looks and what’s on it – our skin doesn’t just tell us but anyone who looks at us knows how we are feeling just from our skin. Human skin comes with several small indications or growths too; like for example lesions. Moles are lesions that occur quite commonly. When cells called melanocytes (which give skin its natural colour) in the skin grow in a cluster instead of being spread throughout the skin, moles are formed.
Moles appear anywhere on human skin; singly or in groups. Typically brown or black in colour, moles can be seen from early childhood, appearing through the first 30 years of one’s life. Adults who have lighter skin have more moles. With time, moles become raised; they change colour and often, hairs too develop on the mole. Moles can also darken with exposure to the sun, during puberty, and a woman’s pregnancy.
Some moles don’t change at all, while others may gradually disappear. Dermatologists will say it is normal to have anywhere between 10-40 moles by adulthood.
When should you be concerned about a mole?
You should know that a type of skin cancer called melanoma can grow in or near a mole. The first signs of melanoma are indicated in a change to the mole — or the sudden appearance of a new mole on the skin.
A mole should definitely be checked if it has a diameter that exceeds the average pencil eraser or it exhibits any other odd characteristics like dark brown centres’ and light, uneven edges. These moles called dysplastic nevi that are typically larger than average, irregular in shape and uneven in colour are more likely to become melanoma. Any changes in a mole should be checked by a dermatologist to evaluate for skin cancer.
Checking your skin while bathing or moisturising can help you notice oddities early. Make an appointment with a dermatologist at the S10 Health SafeCare Network. Learn how to examine your skin, know how often you should check your skin and put your worries aside.