Moles are accumulations of pigmented cells that appear as dark spots on the skin. They may vary in size and can occur on the face, back, arms or legs. In rare cases, moles may also develop on the scalp, beneath the nails and on the fingers and toes. Moles are known to fade away with age. They are harmless in most cases, but can sometimes be malignant.
Moles usually appear on the surface of the skin as brown or reddish spots. There is likely to be great variation in the color, size and shape. In some cases a mole may be as small as a pinhead, while in other cases it may spread across an entire limb. There are some moles that are present at birth and may exceed 8 inches in diameter. Such moles may be pose a concern and need to be removed later on as they could turn into a malignant melanoma, which is a serious form of cancer. The surface of the mole may be either smooth or wrinkled. Some moles may appear as flat spots on the skin, while others may be appear raised. Some may even be raised to such an extent that they develop small stalks. Moles are seen to develop at around 20 years of age. They may turn darker and increase in size during pregnancy. The use of birth control pills may also cause changes in the color and size of moles due to the resulting hormonal changes.
Moles that cause pain, burning, itching or inflammation should be shown to a doctor. Medical attention is also essential in case of oozing or bleeding from a mole.
There are various different types of skin moles.
The skin gets its color due to the presence of a pigment known as melanin. Melanin is contained in cells called melanocytes, which are present in the epidermis or outer layer of the skin. The melanocytes are responsible for transporting melanin to the cells present on the skins surface. In most cases the melanin is uniformly distributed across the skin. But sometimes the melanocytes accumulate together in clusters and this lead to the appearance of moles. However the exact cause of the development of moles and the purpose they serve is unknown. Some types of moles which have an unusual appearance require careful medical attention as they have the potential to become cancerous. Such moles are usually seen on the back in both males and females.
In case of moles that cause pain and discomfort, one needs to consult a doctor at the earliest. In such cases a sample of the mole tissue is obtained and analyzed in a laboratory. In case it is identified as cancerous, the mole and the part of the surrounding tissue must be removed.
Many people choose to have moles removed for cosmetic reasons. Surgical methods to remove a mole include excision or cutting and excision with cauterization. In the excision method, the entire mole is removed and the incision is closed up with stitches. This method may lead to scarring and healing may take some time. In the cauterization method, the mole is burnt off and antibiotics are administered to the wound to prevent infection. There is no cutting involved in this method and hence scarring does not occur. Some people opt for the shaving method wherein the mole is removed with a scalpel and in order to prevent bleeding the underside is burnt. This method is usually recommended in case of moles that stick out from the skins surface. Mole removal may also be done through cryosurgery wherein a freezing liquid is placed on the affected area in order to destroy the cells which are causing the problem. Mole removal through laser surgery is another available option. It carries a reduced risk of scarring, but can be quite expensive. Healing also takes place faster after laser surgery. Laser treatment may involve multiple sessions depending upon the size of the mole.
There are also many home remedies which are believed to be helpful in getting rid of moles. The main advantage of such natural treatments is that they involve no scarring since the affected area is not cut in any way. The ingredients used in these natural remedies encourage the mole to fall off by itself over a period of time. This is also less painful and can be done at home itself. Garlic is an age old remedy for moles. A crushed clove of garlic may be placed on the mole and covered with a bandage. Onion juice also assists in getting rid of moles. The juice may be applied daily until the mole falls off on its own. Flaxseed may also be used to treat moles. Ground flaxseeds may be combined with some flaxseed oil and raw honey and applied to the affected area every day. Another popular home remedy for moles is pineapple. Freshly cut pineapple may be applied to the mole several times a day to help in removal. An effective way to treat moles that itch is to rub castor oil on the area. This will help to soften the mole. Vitamin C is also a popular remedy for mole removal. Tablets of vitamin C may be crushed and applied to the affected areas. A beneficial herbal remedy for moles is tea tree oil. A few drops of the oil may be rubbed on the mole daily for a period of 8 to 10 days. Pomegranate peel is also sometimes used for getting rid of skin moles. Roasted pomegranate peels may be roasted and ground into a powder and then combined with lime juice. The paste may be applied to the affected areas twice every day. Many people consider sour apple to be an effective remedy for natural mole removal. A piece of sour apple or its juice may be applied to the mole at least thrice daily. This is believed to produce positive results in a few weeks time.
The remedies for skin moles are many, but is there any way to prevent the occurrence of skin moles? An important step in protecting your skin from moles is to limit your exposure to the sun. Prolonged and excessive sun exposure stimulates melanin production and this can lead to moles. Therefore it is advisable to avoid exposing your body to direct sunlight. It is also beneficial to apply sunscreen or sun block before going outdoors. A SPF of 30 and above is effective in protecting the skin from the sun. The ultraviolet rays of the sun are responsible for increasing melanin production. UV light is also used in tanning booths and hence this too can result in moles. It may not always be possible to prevent the occurrence of moles. Therefore it is helpful to be aware if you have a family history of skin cancer. This way you will be able to take the necessary precautions from an early age and thus reduce your risks. It is beneficial to monitor the condition of your moles at least once every month. This will allow you to detect any changes in them. When examining your moles there are certain signs you should look for. These signs may indicate that the mole is cancerous. Asymmetry, blurred or irregular borders, uneven color, large diameter and changes in size, shape and color are all characteristics to watch out for. If you notice any of these signs, have the mole examined by a dermatologist.
The best way to protect the body from health problems is to follow a proper diet and exercise regularly. Good hydration is also a must for staying fit. A diet that is high in potassium is known to be effective in preventing moles. Include potassium rich foods such as potatoes, apples and bananas in your daily diet.
Parents should examine children for moles that measure more than 6 millimeters. Irregular, changing moles and symptoms such as itching and bleeding should also be monitored and reported to a doctor immediately.