In the modern world, beauty is more than just a determining factor of how likely we’re going to find a mate. It goes far beyond mere ecology and it moves into social dynamics. These days, beauty can also be a status symbol. This is evident in the people who are more than willing to spend heaps of cash in order to look their very best at all times. A lot of these things like moles can be harmless, but you’d also be surprised at how insidious something that we initially dismissed as nothing more than an aesthetic defect can be.
There are many things that fall under this category, but one of the most common and most deceptive is the mole. Some people have iconic moles, like the one that Marilyn Monroe had on her face, and other people, well, they get moles that are actually signs that there’s something terribly, terribly wrong.
So, what are the signs that you need to watch out for?
- Asymmetry – When the shape of one side of the mole is not similar to the other half of the mole.
- Irregular Borders – When a mole has a poorly-defined border or it cannot be determined accurately where the mole ends and where skin begins
- Irregular Colors – When a mole has different shades of black, brown, and white, sometimes even blue and red
- Size (Diameter) – When a mole is larger than a centimeter in diameter, which is about the size of a pencil eraser
- Changing – When the mole changes in size, shape, and even color
- Discomfort – When a mole is painful, itchy, or if it bleeds
So, what does a suspicious mole mean?
The first thing you need is to know what it could mean. A suspicious mole is often a sign of the early stages of malignant melanoma. Malignant melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and is caused by overexposure to UV rays. This damages the genes that control skin growth, which then instruct the cells (wrongly) to multiply rapidly and form tumors. Luckily, it is almost always curable as long as it is detected early. It becomes life-threatening when it is left unchecked because it can spread to other parts of the body.
What do I do if I have a mole that looks suspicious?
This all really depends on what your dermatologist says. But, the most common course of action upon detecting a suspicious mole is to have it removed. Getting a mole removal is usually painless because the doctor numbs the target area before shaving or cutting off any moles. Be warned though, there will be stitches needed after the procedure.
Once the mole has been removed, it will be sent to a laboratory where it can be determined whether or not the mole is cancerous. The purpose of this is to detect if there is indeed cancer and to be able to take the necessary precautions should there be a need to do so.