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Moles or Beauty Marks?

 

These growths occur on almost everyone and can show up on almost any part of the body. Sometimes they are family traits with a mole in a certain location that can be seen through many generations. Ordinary moles will often be flat in the earlier years and as one gets older they become slightly to significantly raised or even flabby. Their color will range from a normal skin color to pink or brown and usually in the early stages they will be relatively small and have a very sharp border.

Sometimes hairs will grow out of them, usually stiff and dark. A mole is usually removed for one of two reasons: the patient does not like it or it looks unusual and needs to be sent for testing. Other reasons include wanting to stop the hairs from growing and being in an area that is frequently traumatized such as scalp, waist, etc. Removal can be done by a small excision and closing with stitches or "shaving" them level with the skin and allowing them to heal without stitches.

In both cases, the residual mark is relatively unnoticed depending on location, size, and technique. People with unusually large numbers of moles should probably have themselves checked annually by a dermatologist as they are at a higher risk of the mole type cancer called melanoma. Anyone with any moles, however, should be aware of the warning signs (such as change in colors, developing an asymmetrical appearance or irregular border, or developing into a large size).

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