From childhood to the age of 40, our skin produces 10 to 40 moles, which are essentially clusters of pigmented cells (a.k.a. nevi). In general, these moles are not dangerous. “It is quite unusual for melanoma to develop from an existing mole,” says board-certified dermatologist Valerie M. Harvey, M.D., co-director of Hampton University Skin of Color Research Institute in Hampton, Virginia. According to a 2017 research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 71 percent of melanomas manifest as new spots. Dr. Harvey advises being attentive by “looking out for new or changing moles and paying attention to moles that appear unique from the rest.”
The most common indication of melanoma of the skin is a malignant mole. This is a specific form of skin cancer. A malignant mole is generally a new mole or an existing mole that has changed. Although not every new or changing mole is malignant, people should keep track of their moles. Melanoma is not the most prevalent type of skin cancer, but it is frequently the deadliest. This is due to the fact that it can swiftly spread to other regions of the body, making treatment difficult and frequently ending in a terrible prognosis. However, acquiring an early diagnosis and rapid treatment can dramatically improve the outlook for those with melanoma. This is why it is critical for people to be cautious and to inspect their skin on a frequent basis. Excessive UV radiation exposure is a common risk factor for malignant moles. As a result, people must take measures such as minimizing sun exposure, wearing protective clothes when outside, and using a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Here are the tell-tale signs to look for.
1. More Moles than Normal
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the National Cancer Institute, and other organizations, having 50 or more moles increases the chance of acquiring melanoma (the most deadly kind of skin cancer). According to a study published in JAMA Dermatology, many persons with melanoma do not have an elevated mole count on a regular basis. Unfortunately, having specific types of moles or a significant number of moles on your body might raise your chance of melanoma, but you shouldn’t be concerned about every mole. Instead, before you start worrying about skin cancer, you should examine your moles. Recognizing new or changing skin growths, especially those that seem different from previous moles, is the greatest approach to diagnose skin cancer early. The number of moles is thought to be a significant risk factor for the development of malignant melanoma. With more than 50 moles, it is far more probable that one of them may become cancerous. As a result, anyone with more than 50 moles should undergo frequent skin cancer tests with their physician. Bottom line: If you have a lot of moles, you should be on high alert.