To be, or not to be…
Wondering if your mole is something to worry about? In a situation like this, your best bet is to ask as many questions as you can to better understand your health status.
What is a mole?
A mole is a cluster of melanocytes (also known as pigmented cells). Moles can develop anywhere on your body (face, fingers, back etc). The characteristic of a mole usually varies with color, shape, size and can be flat on the skin or appear as an elevated bump. Depending on the amount of sun exposure your skin gets, the mole could darken in color. A majority of the time moles are harmless. Make sure to keep a close watch on these “moles”, just in case they increase in size, shape, color and become painful. Be cautious on what you put on your skin and quickly aid to your skin condition before it heightens in severity.
What is Melanoma?
It is a severe form of skin cancer. Melanoma moles usually appear as irregular, multicolored (in the tan/brown/black spectrum) with increased rates of growth. Most spots begin as a flat dark circle making it resemble a freckle, but over time it becomes more of a health issue. If your “mole or dark spot” tends to grow over a period of time or the pigmentation of this “spot” tends to get darker then with all means contact your doctor.
Symptoms of Melanoma
1) The first thing you need to realize is that Melanoma can develop anywhere on your body. The body parts that have the most sun exposure are places you need to worry about (ex. back, legs, face, arm etc).
2) Do you see any new moles? Or dark pigmented spots on your skin? If yes, then make sure to keep an eye on it.
3) Look for asymmetrical shape, irregular border, changes in color, diameter, see if it’s evolving, if it bleeds or itches.
How to prevent Melanoma and acquire healthy skin.
1) AVOID DAMAGING UV RAYS. The suns peak times are around 10am to 3pm. If you happen to be out during those times make sure to cover up or put some sun screen on.
Here is some more information on how to distinguish a mole from melanoma.