Moles, also known as beauty spots, have historically been considered coquettish and are synonymous with charm. They can appear on both the body and the face. They should be monitored nonetheless. Some of these brown spots on our skin may change which might leave us at risk of developing skin cancer.
Moles: what are they?
Moles have always been considered a sign of elegance and sensuality. They appear in men as well as in women, on all parts of the body. These small chestnut brown or brown spots appear during childhood and never stop growing over the course of a lifetime. Also called nevi, moles are safe for the skin when their diameter does not exceed six millimeters. They are usually a round or oval shape and have a solid colour with regular contours. They can remain smooth on the skin or increase in volume.
When a mole changes rapidly and asymmetrically, it may represent a risk of skin cancer. Melanoma is a disorder of melanocytes, the pigment cells of the skin. Before making an appointment with a medical specialist to have it examined, you can do a self-examination using this reminder. It’s a case of ABCD: Asymmetric; Border is irregular, Colour is different or Diameter changes in size.
Moles: what are the causes?
Moles usually appear on the face, arms, back and legs. These are the main areas that are exposed to the sun. Indeed, moles are caused by a high concentration of melanin, a pigment present in the skin. This hyperpigmentation forms a brown spot. Melanin is a natural protection against the sun to prevent burning of the epidermis. But when the skin is exposed to the sun, it happens that the melanocytes are abnormally stimulated and form a mole.
When a man or woman is excessively exposed to the sun without protection, moles can turn into melanoma. Excessive sun exposure accounts for approximately 95% of these skin cancers. People who have a phototype 1 have genetic factors more favourable to the appearance of melanomas.
Moles: what treatments are available?
People who wish to remove a mole should see a dermatologist.
If the nevi are harmless
They can be removed with a CO2 laser that literally atomizes the spots without leaving any scars.
The treatment is carried out under local anesthesia. Four to five moles can be removed per session based on their diameter and size. There is a crust for about eight to ten days and a slight redness for two to four weeks. It is recommended to protect the skin from sunlight with a full screen block for four to six weeks.
Usually one session is enough. If the mole has deep pigmentation, you may have to retouch it slightly to remove it completely.
If the nevi are suspect
When there is a risk of skin cancer, it may be necessary to undergo minor surgery. The mole can be removed in its entirety by surgical excision under local anesthesia for laboratory analysis. In this case there may be a variance in the size of the scar.