Moles: Causes, Risks and Treatments

Moles were once seen as a sign of beauty!

Moles were once seen as a sign of beauty gracing the faces of famous film actors such as Marilyn Monroe and Julia Roberts. But more recently, moles have been portrayed as ugly marks disfiguring the faces of villains and witches and has become more of a curse than a blessing. It seems today's beauty is only defined by flawless skin therefore having imperfections such as moles on the corner of your face are a big no – no.

Moles are extremely common and almost everybody has a few. They usually have a genetic cause but can sometimes develop spontaneously during the first 30 years of life or due to excessive sun exposure. They are mostly common in fair- skinned people and come in different shapes, sizes and colours. Moles often appear pink, tan and brown. They change throughout their life span and often darken in response to sun exposure and hormonal change such as puberty and pregnancy. They can be flat or raised with hair growing from them and are usually round or oval with a distinct edge.

Although they are nothing more than just a bump on the skin caused by pigment cells grouping together, moles can cause distress to those who see them as an imperfection and in worst case scenarios can develop into a serious form of skin cancer known as malignant melanoma.

While most are not melanoma, it is important to perform a monthly mole check to enable you to evaluate whether your moles are changing in size, colour or texture.

So how do you stop those annoying moles from getting any uglier? Simple.

Avoid excess sun exposure and apply (Heliocare 50+) sunscreen on every day, which protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. Whether you're literally sitting outside in a bikini or laying in a tanning bed your skin is still exposed to harmful ultraviolet radiation and this can triple your chances of getting melanoma.

If you're looking to permanently remove your moles, then there are safe treatments available with minimal scarring. If like most people you have a lot of moles and find it difficult to assess them individually then pop in to Miravue skin clinic for a mole checking session with one of our senior dermatologist to assess the moles and detect any unusual change in them.

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