Moles can come in a range of colors and can develop virtually any whereon your body.
Most moles are harmless, but in rare cases, moles may become cancerous.
- Large Moles present at birth
- Moles that run in families
- Numerous Moles
When to seek medical advice
- If you're over 20 years old and a new mole appears, see your doctor
- If the moles are painful
- Itching or burning
- Oozing or bleeding
- Scaly or crusty
- Suddenly different in size, shape, color or elevation
You may choose to make a skin examination a regular part of your preventive medical care.
If your doctor suspects that a mole may be cancerous, he or she may take a sample of the tissue (biopsy) and submit the biopsy for microscopic examination.
If a mole is found to be cancerous, the entire mole and a margin of normal tissue around it need to be removed.
Usually a mole that has been removed does not reappear. For cosmetic reasons, a mole can be removed in several ways.
- The skin should be examined carefully on a regular basis
- If there is a family history of melanoma, monthly check up of moles is required
- Otherwise the moles should be checked every three months
- It's best to avoid overexposure to the sun, but if you must be out of doors, try to stay out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when ultraviolet rays are most intense
- Twenty to 30 minutes before going outdoors, apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15