Moles are the usual growths on skin that are actually excess melanin deposition at a particular site. A wart on the other hand is a skin growth caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
Warts should be removed and the precautions undertaken since they are viral infections but for moles, they can actually be symptoms of melanoma (a form of cancer).
At Kosmoderma, our team of experienced doctors have devised a scheme of specialised treatments to ensure that your concerns are addressed efficiently and effectively.
Moles are one thing that is common to all humans. Every person has moles, maybe 1, maybe 40.
Moles are not a cause for concern unless they develop certain signs like: Itching / Increase in size / Change of colour.
In fact they are considered to be a beauty spot by many, especially on the face area. Some even consider this to be a sign of good luck and prosperity.
Moles can appear anywhere on the skin. They are of different shapes and sizes. Moles are usually brown to black in colour due to pigment melanin. Sometimes moles can be skin coloured. Moles are pre-determined at birth. They develop usually in the first 20 years of life and over the years due to sun exposure they can increase in numbers and darken in colour.
The life cycle of a mole is typically about 50 years. At the start, moles are mostly flat and look like a freckle or they can be black in colour. Over time they enlarge and some may develop hair. As the moles age they can become raised or they may not change at all.
In the recent years a lot has been spoken about cancer (Melanoma) and moles. What one must understand is that not all moles are cancerous. According to the American Academy Of Dermatology, if mole starts changing in size / colour / shape / especially if the border becomes ragged, you must consult your dermatologist. The risk of Melanoma in Indian skin is much lower compared to other skin types as the skin has pigmentation which shields it to a certain degree from the effects of harmful UV Rays.
- Mole Removal
- Treatments for Mole & Wart Removal
- How do moles form?
- How to differentiate between a Mole and probable Melanoma symptom?
- Are Warts Contagious?
- Can I Spread Warts From One Part of My Body to Another?
- Why Do Some Warts Have Black Dots in Them?
- Can Warts Be Prevented?
- Will Warts Go Away On Their Own?
Moles are removed for cosmetic as well as medical reasons. Do speak to our dermatologist if you are worried about a raised, itchy mole, which may have suddenly increased in size or changed colour.
Moles can be removed by two safe surgical methods: Simple excision (skin closure with sutures), or excision with cautery. Laser removal of moles is not the method of choice, because laser light does not penetrate deep enough. The treatment is done under local anesthesia, the healing time is about 1 week. Removed moles are usually sent to the laboratory for pathological analysis. If sutures are used to close the wound, the stitches are removed after 1 week.
Mole removal may lead to mild scarring, do discuss the possibility of scar formation with your dermatologist to make your decision
If your moles are larger, irregularly coloured or very dark, alert your dermatologist.
These ABCDs describe suspicious spots/moles:
- Asymmetry: Oddly shaped
- Border: Irregular edges
- Colour: More than one colour present
- Diameter: More than a quarter inch in diameter or becoming larger.
For the usual examination, a dermatologist does a biopsy by shaving or cutting out the
so as to evaluate it under the microscope. If however, the mole is found to be
the dermatologist will cut out the entire mole from the biopsy site along with a rim of
normal skin too and stitch the wound clode.
Following are the usual methods for mole removal:
Cutting / Excision: This method involves cutting out the moles along with a small area of the surrounding skin. Before cutting out, the area is treated with a local anesthetic so that the patient feels no discomfort. Some moles might have cells which have grown into the deeper layers of the skin. In such cases, a few stitches close to the skin might be required which can leave a scar. However, this scar gradually fades away over time.
Shave removal: Some skin moles are on the surface and can be scaled off or shaved with the help of a scalpel. The area is numbed with a local anesthetic before the procedure and a pinkish rub mark remains after the procedure. This mark however fades off gradually.
Freezing: A relatively simple outpatient procedure, it is suited for surfacial non-cancerous moles only. The moles and the nearby skin is frozen using liquid nitrogen. A small blister may remain after the procedure which wears off gradually.
Laser Removal: Smaller, non-cancerous moles that don’t protrude above the surface of the skin may also be removed with a laser treatment. This treatment uses intense bursts of light radiation to break down the mole cells in the skin. This method usually takes two or three treatments to remove the mole completely. While excision and cutting are the more common and recommended methods of removing moles, laser removal can be useful for harder to reach areas, such as on the face or ears, and can be helpful for removing multiple moles at the same time.
Usually brown or black in color, they are formed due to deposition of melanocytes- the
which are responsible for pigmentation and your skin color in general.
Moles usually appear during the first 30-40 years of the life. After that, the probability of any new mole on the body is usually very less. However, the ones already there can grow up in size, have hair growing from them, can darken or in some cases vanish too.
There are typical characteristics of melanomas which set them apart from moles. These characteristics are mentioned below. All of them are visual cues only and hence, even if either of them match, it would be better to have a word with your dermatologist at the earliest.
- Asymmetry: The moles are usually circular or oval with marked boundaries. Melanoma spots on the other hand have rough undefined shapes and boundaries.
- Color: The moles are usually black or brown, melanoma spots on the other hand can be varied shades of brown, red, black, grey or in some cases even blue.
- Diameter: Gradually, you will observe that the diameter of these spots is greater than or equal to about 6 mm
- Evolution: Over time, the shape deforms even more and the color changes which is unlike a regular mole. Sometimes, pain, itching or bleeding may also be experienced.
There is a possibility however that your melanoma spot isn’t detectable using the
visual cues but its appearance would definitely be different as compared to other moles
Hence, whenever you feel something different, it is advised that you should see the dermatologist immediately because melanoma, if detected early has a high rate of getting cured.
Unfortunately, yes. You can get warts from touching a wart on someone else’s body, or by coming in contact with surfaces that touched someone’s warts, such as towels or bathmats.
The HPV which results in wart formation infects the uppermost skin layer usually entering through the bruises or cuts on it. Usually warts go away on their own but some can be infectious and hence it is always better to consult a dermatologist before undertaking any home based procedure or just sitting quietly over them.
Yes, you can. For this reason, it is important not to pick at your warts and to wash your hands promptly and thoroughly any time you touch one of your warts. If you have warts in an area where you shave, keep in mind that shaving over the wart could transfer the virus to the razor and then spread it to other areas of your body.
If you look closely, many skin warts contain a number of black dots that resemble little seeds. These specks are visible blood vessels that are supplying the wart with nutrients and oxygen.
Though skin warts can’t be prevented, there are a number of precautionary measures you can take to minimize your risk of acquiring warts. One of the most important things you can do is to wash your hands regularly. Also, try to keep your skin healthy, moisturized, and free of cuts. If you bite your fingernails or cuticles, do your best to stop. Biting nails creates an opening for virus to enter your skin. Be careful to use clean, fresh towels at the gym or in other public locations, and always wear rubber-soled flip-flops or sandals in public locker rooms and showers.
Some warts will go away without treatment, others will not. Even those warts that eventually go away can take months, or even years, to disappear. Also, keep in mind that any wart can be a “mother” wart that spreads to other parts of your body. Most dermatologists say it is best to treat warts, either at home or in the doctor’s office, as soon as they appear.