Moles are basically black or brown elevated spots on your skin which are very common by the time you reach the age of 30. Some may fade away with time, some persist and some may have a hair growth. Most of the time there is nothing to worry about it but sometimes these moles may become cancerous and lead to devastating consequences. Keep check of the following signs:
- If a mole changes its shape, form, character or color (grows darker than original) with time, there might be something wrong
- Moles grow slowly. If a mole appears suddenly, or a preexisting mole enlarges rapidly, you need to see a doctor
- Look for any itching, bleeding or crusting of your mole. It may lead to melanoma
- It is alarming if a mole is no longer symmetrica
- If your mole develops a rough border, this is not typical
- Typical moles are symmetrical and they do not change their shape and size with time. They grow very slowly. A typical mole changes its shape, color, usually grows up to 5-10mm in diameter and has a tendency towards melanoma. The borders are not distinct and are mostly found in people with greater sun exposure. If you have any of the above mentioned signs, go for a checkup. The earlier you detect cancerous growth; the better is the treatment and outcome.
- In order to know if your mole is dangerous, The American Cancer Society (ACS) suggests following this simple ABCD rule.
- “A” means asymmetrical. If your mole is not similar on both the sides, or is uneven, you need to worry about it.
- “B” stands for borders. The borders of a mole should be smooth and distinct. You need to worry if they are jagged and irregular.
- “C” stands for color of the mole. Moles are usually black, brown or tan in color. If there is any inconsistency, white, blue or pink discoloration or change in color pattern with time, this is absolutely not normal.
- “D” stands for diameter of the mole. Typical moles are small of about one-fourth inch resembling the eraser at the end of a pencil. If your mole is enlarging or is about 10mm or more, you need to worry.
- Treatment of the Moles: If you find the above signs or you are worried about your unusual mole, do not delay your appointment with a physician. Tell them the history and the observed changes with time. The procedure is not at all difficult or a long surgical process. Treatment is simple removal of the mole by numbing the area with the help of local anesthesia and cutting or shaving it. You might need a stitch or two to close the wound. The excised mole would be sent to a laboratory for testing if it was cancerous and the treatment follows according to the results. The more you wait, the more complicated it gets.
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