Moles are quite common in people of all ages, and, for the most part, are non-cancerous (benign). However, it is important to know where each mole is, or isn’t and what they look like. If there are changes in the appearance of a mole affecting its color, height, shape or size then it is imperative that medical attention is sought. Changes such as this may mean that the mole is precancerous.
There are various types of moles, which have their own characteristics:
Moles should be checked regularly to watch for changes. Even those which have remained the same for years should be watched for changes, especially those which are on places of the body which receive regular exposure to sunlight. Those with congenital or dysplastic nevi should be especially vigilant in checking the status of each skin lesion on the body. Whilst this may seem like a painstaking task, it could be very important should any changes be noted as treatments are more successful the sooner any dangerous diagnosis is made.
When examining each mole, there is a set of guidelines which are helpful to establish whether or not a person need be concerned. These are called the ABCDEs:
If any of these changes should occur, or if a new mole appears then individuals must see a doctor immediately.
If a mole is benign there are a range of non-surgical methods which can be used to safely remove troublesome moles. Many people do not bother with such methods and prefer to leave the mole alone as it is not doing them any harm however for some, the moles may be irritating or in a place where they are highly visible.
Moles that are suspected of being precancerous or cancerous require great care to be taken if they are to be removed and a doctor should be consulted to make sure it is absolutely safe to remove the mole. In most cases, surgical procedures are used to remove dangerous skin lesions of this kind.