During the last few weeks we have been talking about skin spots and, even though moles are not actually a skin spot, I believe that it is appropriate to discuss them in a blog because they are a source of much confusion, and many times they are wrongly treated as if they were spots.
Moles are benign skin tumours formed by clusters of nevic cells. If we were using a microscope, we could categorize them by: moles that have their cells joined between the epidermis and the dermis; flat moles that have their cells mainly on the dermis; and the raised moles that many people wrongly call warts.
There are moles that we have since we are born and, depending on their size, they might have a certain malignant percentage and become cancerous. There is another type of moles called dysplastic nevi (or atypical moles) that can also become malignant. They look like a fried egg and they are elevated and flat on the edges.
It is important that we pay attention to our moles, we have to checked them carefully, and determine if they should be checked by a specialist.
Here are some good tips to help with your auto examination
- Are they symmetrical? Moles must be symmetrical; if they are not, then we should check with a specialist.
- Moles must have regular edges; if they do not, then we should check with a specialist.
- Moles must have a regular colour. If they do not, we must check that they do not have more than one colour (red, grey or white). If this is the case, then we should check with a specialist.
- Moles must not be greater than 6 mm of diameter (some specialist say no more than 5 mm). If this is the case, then we should check with a specialist.
5. Changes. We need to be checking to see if the moles are growing or if they are bleeding.
It is very important to clarify that moles should only be treated by an expert, because a poorly performed treatment could make the mole to become cancerous.