A mole on the body or face can be not only the highlight of a woman, giving a special charm, but also be a source of uncomfortable sensations – physical and psychological. With such trouble, questions arise about what danger these formations can pose, whether to remove moles that interfere, and whether there are contraindications to this.
What are moles and where do they come from?
First of all, let’s figure out what a mole is, and as a result of what factors these formations appear. Moles (nevi), which are congenital and acquired, can be found on the skin and mucous membranes of any part of the body. Their structure consists of epidermal or dermal cells and accumulations of melanocytes – cells that produce the pigment melanin. The formations are either located at the level of the skin, or rise above it, they differ in shape and color.
There are several probable reasons for the formation of moles, the main of which are as follows:
- genetic factor – information about the appearance of a pigmented formation in a particular part of the body can be embedded in DNA, which is why the next of kin often has the same moles;
- intense exposure to ultraviolet radiation, under the influence of which a large amount of melanin is produced;
- hormonal changes leading to disruption of melanin synthesis (due to endocrine diseases, pregnancy, puberty, taking hormone-containing drugs, and so on);
- exposure to radiation, x-rays;
- injury and skin infection.
Nevus – types
We list and characterize some types of moles:
- Lentigo – a flat pigment spot resembling a freckle, but having a more intense and even color;
- Flat nevi – non-bulging small formations formed between the epidermis and dermis, which can have a different color – from flesh to black.
- Complex nevus – a formation that rises above the skin or the surface of the mucous membrane, which affects the tissues of the dermis and epidermis and has a very dark color.
- Dysplastic nevus – a flat or slightly convex speck of irregular shape with fuzzy edges and uneven coloring, the size of which exceeds one centimeter.
- blue nevus – a rounded spot of blue or bluish color, having a dense structure, often appearing on the limbs, face, buttocks.
- Hanging moles (acrochordons) – outgrowths of flesh or light brown color, common areas of localization of which are the armpits, groin, neck, eyelids.
- Giant nevi – congenital formations that have a dark color and an uneven surface, which appear due to an intrauterine violation of the process of differentiation of melanoblasts.
- Nevi of Sutton – spots in the form of raised nodules, limited by a rim of unpigmented skin.
Are moles dangerous?
In the question of whether to remove moles, key importance is given to the health threat that these formations can pose. It is impossible to say unequivocally whether this or that formation on the human body is dangerous, in most cases, since quite unexpectedly, moles are able to grow and transform. Often, small nevi, which are not characterized by signs of inflammation or malignancy (the development of healthy cells into cancer cells), do not affect the vital activity and well-being of a person.
Benign formations are considered to be up to 6 mm in size, uniform in color, symmetrical in shape with smooth edges. But no one is immune from the sudden growth of cells of an initially harmless mole, so they should be systematically monitored. We list what is dangerous nevus:
- growth to large sizes;
- the possibility of transition to an atypical precancerous form;
- transformation into a cancer;
- with malignancy, even with unexpressed external manifestations of metastasis throughout the body.
The provoking factors for the modification of a mole into a dangerous form are:
- excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation, sunburn;
- traumatic damage to the formation (especially often recurring);
- self-removal attempts (mechanical, chemical methods);
- removal of hairs from a mole with tweezers.
The following categories of people are at high risk:
- having a large number of moles;
- having nevi larger than 5 mm;
- light-skinned, fair-haired and light-eyed;
- whose close relatives were diagnosed with malignant moles.
Are flat moles dangerous?
If the pigmented nevus is not raised above the skin and is small in size, the likelihood of its rebirth is minimal, provided that no changes occur to it. Due to the peculiarities of this form of a mole, the possibility of damage to it, accidental injury is low, which also testifies in favor of its relative harmlessness. In order to eliminate all risks as much as possible, it is recommended not to abuse the tan and regularly inspect existing moles.
Are red moles on the body dangerous?
An unusual red mole is not a pigmented nevus, but a vascular tumor formation of a benign nature, called an angioma. Such a mole is formed due to the growth of blood capillaries, it can have a different size – from a barely distinguishable flat dot to an extensive towering spot. Angiomas very rarely transform into malignant tumors, but their danger lies in the possibility of bleeding during mechanical injury.
Are hanging moles dangerous?
If an ordinary mole that does not protrude above the surface of the skin often does not cause any aesthetic problems, then hanging formations often cause women inconvenience due to their appearance. In addition, such growths tend to increase in size and quantity, which can be provoked by constant rubbing (clothing, jewelry), accidental damage. Dangerous are hanging moles located on the neck, in the armpits, on the genitals, due to the fact that in these areas they are easier to injure.
Are bulging moles dangerous?
When an initially flat mole suddenly began to change and became convex, this should alert. Not in all cases, such a transformation means malignancy of the formation, often a small growth and elevation above the skin surface is a natural process. At the same time, cell mutations are lightning fast, and a mole can quickly turn into melanoma – a cancerous tumor. In appearance, a common mole and melanoma cannot always be reliably determined, and special studies are required to identify the pathology.
Do moles need to be removed?
Questions about whether it is necessary to remove moles and whether it is possible to remove moles should be decided individually, depending on the type of formation, its location, and the existing adverse manifestations. Most experts agree that nevi that cause any discomfort and are dangerous in terms of degeneration into malignant tumors should be removed. Existing methods for removing moles rarely cause complications, but if the nevus does not affect the quality of life, there is no need to touch it.
What moles cannot be removed?
Many women hesitate to remove facial moles if they simply do not look very attractive. As a rule, the removal of formations that are not at risk of injury and do not cause physical discomfort is considered unreasonable, although safe. In this case, it should be borne in mind that after removal, some adverse effects are possible, including relapse and scar formation.
When should a mole be removed?
There should be no reflection on whether it is possible to remove moles on the body and whether a nevus should be removed in cases where there are alarming signs indicating a possible evolution of the formation into a malignant one. These manifestations include:
- the sudden appearance of an unusual mole in adulthood;
- itching, soreness in the mole area;
- a sudden change in the shape, size, color of the formation;
- the appearance of inclusions, nodules, veins, outer rim;
- peeling, the appearance of cracks on the nevus;
- loss of hairs from the surface of the mole;
- bleeding, discharge.
How are moles removed?
When contacting a doctor with a question about whether to remove disturbing moles, the patient is assigned an examination to determine the nature of the formation and determine the method of removal. The following methods are applied:
- excision with a surgical knife;
- radio wave method;
- laser exposure.
It should be noted that not all of these methods are applicable in cases of suspected cancerous transformation of the formation. Therefore, to the question of whether it is dangerous to remove moles with a laser, you can hear an affirmative answer, because, despite the fact that this is a bloodless technique, it leaves no opportunity to check the removed tissues for oncology. Only surgical removal allows revision of the formation and excision of all suspicious tissues.