What is a Mole (Nevi)?
A mole is a growth that grows on your body’s largest organ, your skin. These growths can range in different sizes and range in color from your natural skin tone. These moles can grow anywhere on your skin, they have a tendency to either grow alone or grow in groups of growths. Having skin moles is a normal occurrence, they do, however, appear in your early childhood or within the first 20 years of your life. The average mole count can reach up to 40 by the time you are an adult. These moles usually have an average life cycle of about 50 years. Just like our skin, moles are also able to change slowly over the course of time. They are able to lighten in color and even sometimes develop hairs. There have been cases where some moles may not change at all and will even eventually disappear over time.
Types of Moles
There are 3 types of moles, which are:
- Congenital Nevi: Moles present at birth. The larger the size, the greater the risk for developing skin cancer.
- Dysplastic Nevi: These moles tend to be irregularly shaped and have uneven coloration with darker centers and lighter edges. They tend to be inherited and are usually one of many moles on the skin. Usually, if you have dysplastic nevi, your chances of developing malignant melanoma are greater than the average.
- Common Nevi: Common moles are normal small growths on your skin that may vary color depending on your natural skin tone.
Dermatologist Determination Factors
Some of the key factors a dermatologist may look for when determining if a mole should raise concern is if the skin mole is benign or not. A benign mole does not need to be removed, the removal of a benign mole is usually for cosmetic reasons and will leave a scar. If a dermatologist determines that the mole is not benign through a skin biopsy, then the dermatologist will make an effort to fully remove the cancerous mole.
If you believe that your mole may be showing cancerous symptoms then you will have to contact your dermatologist ASAP.
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