Almost everyone has a beauty mark or two. The harmless skin growths — or melanocytic naevi — that are brown or black in hue are usually called “moles” (via The Guardian). Moles usually pop up around childhood, but new ones can appear during adulthood as well.
While most moles are noncancerous, any changes to a mole should be looked at by a medical professional, as even the smallest change can be melanoma (via Medical News Today). According to MedicineNet, new moles appearing after the age of 35 years old are more rare, and if this happens, take a trip to a dermatologist to have it checked out. Some moles even disappear completely over time (via WebMD).
Pay attention to your new moles
If a new mole does pop up, it has to do with melanocytes, which are the pigment-producing cells that duplicate, and if they do it enough, they’ll eventually result in what we know as a mole. Medical News Today says that new moles can appear due to having fair skin, genetics, a weakened immune system, or being exposed to ultraviolet radiation (in other words, the sun). According to Healthline, being pregnant can also cause new moles to appear. Moles may change throughout your life, but a brand new mole should probably be evaluated (via MedicineNet).
If you’re someone who is frequently in the sun, the statistics of you having more (or developing new) moles increases. If you have a large number of moles (more than 50), your melanoma risk is much higher. Wearing sunscreen daily and covering your moles is an incredibly important habit to get into (via Skin Cancer Foundation).
Stay in touch with your body
Though most moles are noncancerous, Healthline explains that new moles are more likely to be cancerous than old moles. If a new mole appears or an old mole changes (or is itching, bleeding, or oozing for example), seek out a professional to examine your beauty mark. Most moles are 1/4 inch in diameter or less, so if the size changes, it’s best to have it looked at. A 2017 study found that new moles were 70.9 percent related to melanoma.
Get in the habit of at-home skin checks, and while your new mole may not be anything to worry about, it’s always imperative to stay on top of your health and visit a dermatologist to double check.
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