Moles: what you should know about them

A mole (or nevus in Latin) is a pigmented, usually benign neoplasm of the skin, or a tumor. It is formed from skin cells — melanocytes, which produce the dark pigment melanin.

The appearance of the nevus depends on the depth of the melanocytes. If they are located close to the surface, the neoplasm will be from dark brown to black in color, flush with the skin or slightly rise above it. This is usually not a concern. If the pigment cells are located in the deep layers of the skin, the mole is light and rises strongly above the surface, since much more melanocytes are involved in its formation. Such nevi, as well as moles larger than 5 mm, should be shown to a dermatologist at least once a year, because there is a risk of their degeneration into malignant tumors (melanoma — skin cancer).

Factors of influence
Moles can be congenital and acquired. They appear and disappear over the course of a lifetime. Over time, nevi can gradually change shape, size, lighten or darken. This is the norm. The main thing is that in six months the neoplasm has increased by no more than 5 mm, and the color remains uniform. Moles can become active under the influence of a genetic factor, sunlight, endocrine changes and due to injury.

People who are genetically predisposed to the formation of moles, it is better to show themselves to a dermatologist at least once a year. This is especially true for those who have a lot of nevi. After all, in this case it is more difficult to track their behavior, and the risk of rebirth is higher.

Hair on moles, in order not to injure the nevus, it is better not to pull out, but to trim.

To reduce the influence of the sun, it is necessary to use sunscreens. The lighter the skin, the higher the protection factor should be. You need to sunbathe before 10 o’clock and after 16 o’clock, when the sun is not so active. This is especially important for light-skinned and fair-haired people, pregnant, freckled and those who have a lot of moles.

Moles can also change under the influence of hormones produced by the pituitary gland, at 3 years old, at 6 years old, during puberty, pregnancy and menopause.

Injury can cause infection or deformation of the nevus, which is very dangerous. After all, the body, trying to restore the damaged place, begins to produce new pigment cells. It is difficult to predict how they will behave.

Attention zone
A symptom of the problem may be a sharp change in the color of the nevus, a violation or complete absence of the skin pattern, peeling or redness that has arisen around it, blurred outlines and compaction of the mole. Dark, with a «lacquer» surface and sharply separating from the surface of the skin, neoplasms also need to be shown to specialists because of the risk of their degeneration into malignant tumors.

Pay attention!
It is absolutely impossible to remove nevi in beauty salons from an ordinary cosmetologist. As a rule, this is a person with a secondary medical education, which means that he will not be able to diagnose and choose the right method of removal. In addition, histological examination is excluded in this case.

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