Moles occur more often than you think. Nearly all adults have a few moles on their skin, and they are more common in adults whose skin is light. Moles are usual growths which appear on the skin and their color is usually black or brown. They happen when the skin cells grow in cluster, instead of spread through the skin. The cells are called melanocytes and they are responsible for the pigment which gives the skin its color.
The majority of moles are harmless, however, melanoma is a type of skin cancer which grows in the mole or around it. This is the reason it is crucial to know the symptoms and signs of а malignant mole.It is possible to treat melanoma if detected in early stages. Doing regular checkups and being attentive about the color, size, shape and other changes that manifest in your moles can help you differ a malignant from a benign moles.
You need to watch out for this ABCDE’s:
Mole which is benign is usually symmetrical, and it looks identical on both sides. Nevertheless, malignant moles are asymmetrical, meaning if you draw a line thorough it, the two halves are not going to match. This is an early warning sign.
The borders of a benign mole are even and smooth. On the contrary, the borders of a malignant mole are usually uneven, meaning its edges might not be clearly defined, notched or may be scalloped.
The majority of benign moles have one color only, usually a shade of black, red or brown. However, if the mole has various colors, it can be an indication of melanoma. You need to visit a doctor if your mole is with various shades of brown and mixed with blue, white, or black.
Malignant moles usually have bigger diameter when compared to benign moles. Melanomas are most often bigger than 6 mm or ¼ inch, but they also may be smaller at first.
Moles which are benign look the same. Nevertheless, moles which start to change or evolve could be an indication of melanoma. If your mole starts to change in elevation, color, shape, size or in any other way, consult a doctor immediately.
Nevertheless, melanomas do not always behave according to the ABCDE guidelines. Change of any kind means that you need to consult a doctor immediately.
Other Warning Signs
- A sore that does not heal
- Pigment expansion from the spot’s border into the encircling skin
- New swelling or redness past the mole
- Alternation in sensation like pain, tenderness or itchiness
- Changes in the mole’s surface like bleeding, oozing, scaliness or bump appearance
Some of the contributors to melanoma like family history, race, gender and age are impossible to control. However, there are other risk factors which can be easily controlled. In order to prevent melanoma you need to:
- Avoid UV rays exposure
- Make sure to protect the skin from sun exposure
- Find shade
- Stay away from sunlamps or tanning beds
- Make sure the children are not exposed to sun
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