Body Moles: Types and Health Risks

Moles are common in everybody and can be numbered between 10 and 40 in most of the people. But they can be the sign of the skin cancer. Thus, it is essentially important to know their types.

Body Mole Types

Moles are the slightly raised blemish that is common and can occur anywhere on the body. The number of moles can be 10 up to 40 in adults. It appears in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Changes in shape sizes or in their texture may be an indication of the occurrence of skin cancer. Therefore, understanding their varieties and identification is helpful to detect the skin cancer before its occurrence.

Types of Body Moles:

  1. Congenital Moles

If your mole is present at birth, it is a congenital mole or congenital nevus. And there is a cancer risk (melanoma) associated with this type of moles, which is generally found in nearly 1 percent people. Congenial mole is caused by the proliferation of benign melanocytes in dermis or epidermis (or both).

  1. Acquired Moles

Unlike congenital moles, acquired moles occur during childhood or early adulthood. They are the form of benign neoplasm can develop under the skin or on the pigmented growth of the skin.

These moles can be as small as ¼ inch and outbreak due to over sun exposure, however, they don’t cause cancer.

  1. Atypical Moles

Also termed as dysplastic nevi, atypical moles are larger and irregular shaped moles which are uneven in color. They are bordered by black dots. They are genetic and can cause skin cancer.

  1. Junctional Melanocytic Nevi

Junctional melanocytic nevi result from the accumulation of melanocytes at the meeting points of dermis and epidermis. These moles are characterized by the regular borders and dark pigmentation. They are usually outburst between childhood and early adulthood because in this age melanocytes travel to the deeper layers of the skin.

  1. Intradermal Nevi

They are flesh colored moles and are blended with the surrounded skin due to the similar appearance. Unlike junctional melanocytic nevei, they are not dark as they occur in the dermis and middle layer of the skin.

How to Know If Mole is Safe?

Generally, moles are not harmful as they are the mere heap of the skin pigment.  They are safe when they live up to following parameters:

  • Immaculate edges
  • Dome like shape
  • 6 mm diameter
  • Don’t change the shape with time

However, they may be an indication of skin cancer, Melanoma, which can spread to the other parts of the body including lungs, bone, brain and liver. Sings like irregular edges, color changes, unbalanced, crustiness, inflammation and in a change in elevations are the signs that your moles go wrong. Since it is bit hard to remember all these signs, doctor suggests ABCDE sequence to check it:

  • Asymmetrical –visibly asymmetrical
  • Border –uneven borders
  • Colors –distinct colors
  • Diameter –larger than¼ inch or 6 mm across
  • Enlargement – the mole grows in size over time

If you see these symptoms, you must see your physician immediately.

How Moles are removed?

Moles are removed for cosmetic and medical reasons by a dermatologist. Generally, the skin is numbed around the mole, and the procedure is used to remove it.

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