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Have a flat mole inside nostril. Should I be worried?

Mar 2013
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Practicing since : 1998
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I have a flat mole (skin discoloration) inside one nostril. Should I be concerned.
Posted Sun, 17 Mar 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 18 minutes later
Thanks for writing in.

A common mole (nevus) is a small growth on the skin that is usually pink, XXXXXXX or brown and has a distinct edge. People who have more than 50 common moles have a greater chance than others of developing a XXXXXXX type of skin cancer known as melanoma. Most common moles do not turn into melanoma.

A dysplastic nevus is an unusual mole that is often large and flat and does not have a symmetric round or oval shape. The edge is often indistinct. It may have a mixture of pink, XXXXXXX or brown shades. People who have many dysplastic nevi have a greater chance than others of developing melanoma, but most dysplastic nevi also do not turn into melanoma.

If the color, size, shape, or height of a mole changes or if it starts to itch, bleed, or ooze, you should consult a Dermatologist. Also, you should do so, if you see a new mole that looks different from the others you have so far.

The only way to diagnose melanoma is to remove the tissue and check it for cancer cells. That is, by excising it, and sending it for biopsy.
Most adults have between 10 and 40 common moles. These growths are usually found above the waist on areas exposed to the sun. They are seldom found on the scalp, breast, or buttocks.

Some more information for you ;

A common mole is usually smaller than about 5 millimeters wide (about 1/4 inch, the width of a pencil eraser). It is round or oval, has a smooth surface with a distinct edge, and is often dome-shaped. A common mole usually has an even color of pink, XXXXXXX or brown. People who have dark skin or hair tend to have darker moles than people with fair skin or blonde hair.

Normally, people do not need to have a dysplastic nevus or common mole removed. One reason is that very few dysplastic nevi or common moles turn into melanoma Another reason is that even removing all of the moles on the skin would not prevent the development of melanoma because melanoma can develop as a new colored area on the skin . That is why doctors usually remove only a mole that changes or a new colored area on the skin.

Some factors increase the risk for developing melanoma :
1. Having a dysplastic nevus
2. Having more than 50 common moles
3. Sunlight is a source of UV radiation, which causes skin damage that can lead to melanoma and other skin cancers.
4. People who have had at least one severe, blistering sunburn have an increased chance of melanoma. Although people who burn easily are more likely to have had sunburns as a child, sunburns during adulthood also increase the chance of melanoma.
The greater the total amount of sun exposure over a lifetime, the greater the chance of melanoma.

In the United States, skin cancer is more common where the sun is strong. For example, a larger proportion of people in XXXXXXX than Minnesota get skin cancer. Also, the sun is strong at higher elevations, such as in the mountains.

Melanoma sometimes runs in families. People who have two or more close relatives (mother, father, sister, brother, or child) with melanoma have an increased chance of melanoma.
People who have fair (pale) skin that burns easily in the sun, blue or gray eyes, red or blond hair, or many freckles have an increased chance of melanoma.

Medical conditions or medicines (such as some antibiotics, hormones, or antidepressants) that make skin more sensitive to the sun or that suppress the immune system increase the chance of melanoma.

I do not think you should be concerned unless you notice any of the ominous changes mentioned by me for conversion to a melanoma, or unless you have multiple risk factors present.

I hope this was of help.
Take care, and feel free to ask for further clarifications.
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