Not too long ago, a facial mole, depending on where it was located, was known as a “beauty mark” when it appeared on a woman’s face. Some examples include Marilyn Monroe, Cindy Crawford and Madonna. Even the fictional Ms. Pac-Man had a beauty mark. Madonna’s facial mole, located just below her right nostril, was surgically removed. Some facial moles had other connotations based on superstition or ridicule.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the majority of moles appear during the first two decades of a person’s life, while about one in every 100 babies is born with moles. Most moles are benign and not dangerous, but some moles are considered a minor skin malformation and may cause a higher risk for melanoma. A mole will either grow under the skin as a sub-dermal type or become a pigmented growth on the skin. (wikipedia)
Almost everyone with light skin is susceptible and will have at least one or two moles somewhere on their body, while large numbers may be concentrated on the back, chest, and arms. People with darker skin shades, however, tend to have fewer moles. Most people will have several moles by the time they become 20.
Some folklore about moles includes the notion that picking at a mole can cause it to become cancerous or grow back larger and there is evidence that certain moles may in fact become skin cancer. Although chronic picking or irritation (by clothing) of a mole can be detrimental in many ways, it has not been associated with a higher incidence of cancer.
Experts, such as the American Academy of Dermatology, say that vast majority of moles are benign. Nonetheless, the U.S. National Cancer Institute estimated that 62,480 new cases of melanoma and 8,420 related deaths would appear in the United States in the year 2008.
When a mole is bothersome or has changed shape or color, a physician will usually recommend that a dermatologist examine it to see if it should be removed. The dermatologist or plastic surgeon can perform the procedure with an eye toward preventing a larger scar.
Many people have moles removed for cosmetic reasons. If a person has a history of skin cancer, a dermatologist may remove moles for analysis to make sure that any skin cancer is caught early enough for treatment. Most are removed by surgery, frozen with nitrogen or removed with a cauterizing knife. The method used to remove a mole should be made by a qualified Dermatologist, based on the patient’s medical history.
There have been instances where a mole was removed by accident or purposefully by the person who had the mole. But while a mole may sometimes be removed by its bearer and may not grow back larger, the resulting scars can be larger. There is also a danger of excessive bleeding, infection at the removal site and a significant scar may result if the skin is not properly cared for.
I’ve had many skin cancers and several moles removed. Most were surgically shaved off and analyzed for cancer and a few were frozen. The treatment always involved several office visits, co-pays and time to go to the doctor’s office. This may be the best course of action, but I have been looking for alternative ways to treat small moles and dry scally skin that comes from aging. I found a book about Natural Mole, Wart or Skin Tag Removal that offers a natural way to remove moles that should eliminate the travel, office visits and co-pays.