You’re probably familiar with what a mole is check this. Medically referred to as melanocytic nevus or more affectionately called a beauty mark, a mole is the general term for a small spot on the skin. It can be either flat or raised and comes in a variety of colors, including red, brown, tan, purple, black or flesh tone. Generally, they are no bigger than the size of an eraser on the tip of a pencil. They can be found anywhere on the body and occur in people of all skin tones.
These spots can change in color and shape. Sometimes there is a harmless cause for this transformation, such as pregnancy or sun exposure. Other times, it can be cause for concern, as changing moles are often an indicator of skin cancer. Common places to find moles are the lips, palms, soles, eyelids, scalp and genitals, as well as behind the ears. Masses of pigment-producing skin cells called melanocytes are the primary makeup of moles.
Risk Factors and Causes
The amount of exposure your skin receives to the sun and your genetics are the main factors that influence whether you will develop moles. You’ll often find more of them on the skin that sees the sun most frequently. However, that is not always the case.
As already noted, these spots can appear anywhere on the body, including areas that are never exposed to the sun. Moles usually have a darker color than the skin that surrounds them. They are seen more often in those with pale skin and in people who are also prone to freckles. Individuals with light-colored hair, such as auburn or blonde, may be more likely to have them. The same is true for blue or green-eyed folks.
When to Consider Treating Moles
They don’t always need to be treated. In most cases, they are probably fine to leave alone. However, if you notice a mole has changed in color, shape or size, it’s wise to see a medical professional. Our team can treat the mole surgically and send it to be examined in a lab to determine if it is benign or cancerous. Some individuals may wish to have a mole treated simply for aesthetic reasons. This is an option if you are bothered by the way your mole looks or if its existence causes you to feel self-conscious or uncomfortable.
Moles are generally harmless. However, if you are concerned by the look of a suspicious mole or simply wish to have it treated for cosmetic reasons, a short, in-office procedure can be performed to do so.
During a consultation at Doctor’s Approach in Okemos, Carson City or St. Johns, we can assess your moles and determine the appropriate method of treating them. Contact us today to schedule your appointment to learn more.