Everyone has at least a few moles. Statistically one will find between 10-50 moles on the body. Most moles are benign, but they are frequently removed for a variety of reasons. But is mole removal safe? Can you get rid of a mole naturally? Here is some information about moles.
What is a mole?
Moles are irregularities in the skin brought about by an overproduction of coloring by the melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin pigmentation. Moles are usually brown or black and they can appear anywhere on the skin, alone or in groups. The single skin mole is referred to in medical terms as a nevus. Mole removal is common although most moles are benign. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the majority of moles appear during the first two decades of a person’s life, while about one in every 100 babies are born with moles.
What is the cause of a mole?
There are several causes of a mole:
- Proliferation of the pigment cells – Moles occur when cells in the skin grow in a cluster instead of being spread throughout the skin.
- Heredity – Many families have a type of mole known as dysplastic (atypical), which can be associated with a higher frequency of melanoma or skin cancer.
- Too much sun exposure.
Do moles change over time?
Moles usually change slowly. They can become raised or can even change color. It is not uncommon that hairs develop on the mole. Some moles may not change at all, while others may slowly disappear over time. Moles might also darken after too much exposure to the sun, during the teen years, and during pregnancy.
If you notice changes in a mole’s color, height, size, or shape, you should see a dermatologist. Moles should also be checked if they bleed, ooze, itch, appear scaly, or become tender or painful.
Can moles be cancerous?
All moles have the potential to become skin cancer. Sudden changes in a mole, bleeding, rapid growth, or irregular size may all signify development of basal cell, squamous cell, or malignant melanoma.
Most moles are benign. The only moles that are of medical concern are those that look different than other moles that you already have or those that first appear after age 20. Also, pay special attention to areas of your skin that are often exposed to the sun, such as the hands, arms, chest, neck, face, and ears.
The ABCDEs of melanoma
The following ABCDEs are important signs of moles that could be cancerous. If a mole displays any of the signs listed below, it should be checked as soon as possible by a dermatologist:
- Asymmetry — One half of the mole does not match the other half.
- Border — The border or edges of the mole are ragged, blurred, or irregular.
- Color — The color of the mole is not the same throughout or has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red.
- Diameter — The diameter of a mole is larger than the eraser of a pencil.
- Elevation/Evolution — A mole appears elevated, or raised from the skin.
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer. The most common location for melanoma in men is the back; in women, it is the lower leg. Melanoma is the most common cancer in women ages 25 to 29.
Should a mole be removed?
Moles are frequently removed for a variety of reasons. If the mole is found to be cancerous after taking a biopsy, the dermatologist will remove the entire mole by cutting out the entire mole and a rim of normal skin around it, and stitching the wound closed.
It is always prudent to choose a dermatologist or surgeon with appropriate skills and experience with these removals. Risks of mole removal methods vary from infection to anesthetic allergy and nerve damage.
Also, one of the most common difficulties after mole removal is a scar.
Mole removal: Can you get rid of moles naturally?
You can find more home remedies on this website: natural home remedies for moles, but always talk to a dermatologist before trying to remove a mole. Here are a few popular home remedies to remove moles naturally:
- Coriander – Grind some coriander to make a fine. Apply this on the moles. Coriander helps in moles removal.
- Garlic – Crush a clove of garlic and place it on the area and cover it with bandage. Cautious: Garlic really burns so protect the surrounding skin. Usually works in 2 days.
Here are some testimonials of people who tried different home remedies to remove a mole: Mole remedies.
Other tips for moles
- Do not scratch or rub moles.
- Do not pull out hairs growing on moles because it could trigger a reaction in the tissue which could result in abnormal changes of a malignant nature throughout the body.
- Protect your skin from harmful rays of sun.