Moles


What is a mole (“Nevus”)?

  • growths on skin that are usually brown or black

  • appear anywhere on the skin, alone or in groups; During childhood


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What causes a mole?

  • cells in the skin (Melanocytes) grow in a cluster instead of being spread out

  • moles might darken after exposure to sun, during teen years, and during pregnancy


What are the different types of moles?

  • Congenital nevi are moles that appear at birth.

  • Dysplastic nevi are moles that are larger than average and irregular in shape. These moles tend to be hereditary.


Treatment/Recommended

  • removal of any atypical mole that changes in color, shape, or diameter.

  • people with atypical moles should avoid sun exposure

  • persons with atypical moles should consult a physician

  • wear sunscreen and cover moles for protection

Cancer

  • Melanoma-skin cancer that develops as age increases.

  • Removal or chemo is needed as soon as possible

  • Ways to check for this or when to see a doctor is using the ABCD

    • Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter

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Birthmarks

A birthmark is a skin marking that is present at birth. Birthmarks include cafe-au-lait spots, moles, and mongolian spots.

Cafe-au-lait Spots-

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Moles-
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Mongolian Spots-
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Causes, incidence, and risk factors
  • Cafe-au-lait spots may occur in people with the genetic disorder, neurofibromatis

  • Nearly everyone has moles, which usually appear after birth.

  • Mongolian spots are more commonly seen in darker-skinned populations.


Symptoms

Each type of birthmark has its own appearance:

  • Cafe-au-lait spots are light tan, the color of coffee with milk.

  • Moles are small clusters of colored skin cells.

  • Mongolian spots (also called Mongolian blue spots) are usually bluish or bruised-looking. They usually appear over the lower back or buttocks, but can also appear in other areas, including the trunk or arms.

Other symptoms of birthmarks:

  • Abnormally dark or light skin

  • Contain hair

  • Skin lesion

  • Skin lumps

  • Textured -- smooth, flat, raised, or wrinkled

Signs and tests
Diagnosis is usually made based on the appearance of the skin area. A biopsy may be performed to look for cancerous changes.
Treatment

Treatment varies depending on the type of birthmark and related conditions. Usually no treatment is needed for the birthmark itself.

Large birthmarks that affect your appearance and self-esteem may be covered with special cosmetics.

Moles may be removed surgically if they affect your appearance or have an increase in cancer risk. Discuss your options with your doctor to decide how and when to remove any moles.