Moles (nevi) are growths on the skin. Moles are very common. Most people have between 10 and 40 moles. A person may develop new moles from time to time, usually until about age 40.
About one out of every ten people has at least one unusual (or atypical) mole that looks different from an ordinary mole. Dysplastic nevi are more likely than ordinary moles to develop into a type of skin cancer called melanoma.
Because of this, moles should be checked regularly by a dermatologist, especially if they look unusual; grow larger; or change in colour, outline, or in any other way.
Risk Factors for Melanoma
- Family history of melanoma
- Dysplastic nevi
- Weakened immune system
- Many ordinary moles (more than 50)
- Ultraviolet (UV) radiation
- Severe, blistering sunburns
- Fair skin
The removal of the entire mole or a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope is called a biopsy.
These ABCD’s describe suspicious spots/moles:
A symmetry: Oddly shaped
B order : Irregular edges
C olour: More than one colour present
D iameter; More than a quarter inch in diameter or becoming larger.
What is the procedure at Kosmoderma?
A Dermatologist examines all your moles in order to establish whether any of them need biopsy. If any moles appear suspicious, then a excision biopsy of the mole is done under local anesthesia. The biopsy is then processed by experienced pathologists, and the results are usually available within a week.
How do you protect yourself from Melanoma?
Protection from the Sun:
- Always use a sunscreen / sunblock.
- Apply it at least 20 mins before heading outdoors.
- Wear full sleeves, hats if sun exposure is unavoidable.
- Make sure you have anti oxidants in your diet – B- carotene, Flavonoids, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Lycopene…Try to stay out of the sun between 11AM & 3 PM. The UV index is the highest at this time of the day. If your shadow is shorter than you stay indoors.