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Definition

Types of MolesA Mole is a pigmented spot on the outer layer of the skin (Epidermis). A black colored Mole is forms by Melanophore in skin. Most people's body will have numerous and different size of Moles. Generally speaking they are harmless, but some will changed to malignant Melanoma.

Moles can be round, oval, flat, or raised. They can occur singly or in clusters on any part of the body. Most moles are brown, but colors can range from pinkish flesh tones to yellow, dark blue, or black.

A mole usually lasts about 50 years before beginning to fade. Some moles disappear completely, and some never lighten at all. Most moles are benign (not cancerous), but atypical moles (Dysplastic Nevi) may develop into malignant Melanoma, a potentially fatal form of skin cancer. Atypical Moles are usually hereditary. These are bigger than a pencil eraser, and the shape and pigmentation are irregular.

Causes and symptoms

The cause is unknown, although atypical ones seem to run in families and result from exposure to sunlight. During the early 2000s, researchers identified two genes known as CDKN2A and CDK4 that govern susceptibility to melanoma in humans. Other susceptibility genes are being sought. Most experts, however, think that these susceptibility genes are not sufficient by themselves to account for Moles becoming cancerous but are influenced by a combination of other inherited traits and environmental factors.

When to seek medical treatment

Facial MolesOnly a small percentage of Moles require medical attention. A Mole that has the following symptoms should be evaluated by a doctor:

- Bleeds

- Itches, pain

- Looks unusual or changes in any way

Treatment

If laboratory analysis confirms that a Mole is cancerous, doctor will remove the rest of the mole. Patients should realize that slicing off a section of a malignant Mole will not cause the cancer to spread.

Traditionally, removing a Mole for cosmetic reasons involves numbing the area and using scissors or a scalpel to remove the elevated portion. The patient is left with a flat mole the same color as the original growth. Cutting out parts of the mole above and beneath the surface of the skin can leave a scar more noticeable than the mole.

Nowadays, CO2 laser will be a more safe and simply procedure, scarring seldom occurs.

Prevention

Wearing a sunscreen and limiting sun exposure may prevent formation. Anyone who has the condition should examine and see a doctor if changes in size, shape, color, or texture occur.

A team of researchers at Duke University reported in 2003 that topical application of a combination of 15 percent vitamin C and 1 percent vitamin E over a four-day period offered significant protection against sunburn. The researchers suggest that this combination may protect skin against aging caused by sunlight as well.