How to Check Your Skin for Moles

If you are like most people, you have probably ever seen a mole on your skin that faded away on its own. Usually, moles are not a cause for concern. However, every once in a while, you may notice a new mole, or realize that an existing one has grown larger. In such cases, you might want to get a complete, professional skin examination and Reclaim Your Skin.

What Are Moles?

These are colored spots on the skin, which maybe of varying sizes. The spots are made up of melanocyte cells, which bring about the color pigmentation. Scientifically, these spots are referred to as melanocytic naevi. 

                                                        

In most cases, moles are brown in color, although they can turn red or black depending on a variety of issues. Most people recognize the raised, rough moles, but they can also be flat or smooth. Sometimes you may find a hair growing from a mole. They are usually oval or circular in shape, with defined edges.

When Moles Change Appearance

If you are examining your skin for moles, you might want to know that they differ in appearance and number. In most cases, moles fade away before you even notice that they are there. While some are cancerous, others are a result of the body’s response to hormonal changes. Therefore, if you notice any of these changes, it’s good to know that it is not that serious.

• During pregnancy, moles can be darker in color

• As a teenager, you may notice a large number of moles

• As you age, you realize that moles are fewer in number

Types of Skin Moles

There are countless types of moles that affect people of all ages, race and age. While some are specific to a group of people, some can affect anyone. Here are a few mole types that cut across the board. These are:

• Junctional melanocytic naevi

These moles are usually flat, round and usually brown in appearance

• Derma melanocytic naevi

The moles are raised, round, pale and may sometimes be hairy

• Compound melanocytic naevi

These moles appear considerably raised, sometimes hairy and are light brown in color

• Halo naevi

Just as the name suggests, these moles have a white ring around them, and are usually pale

• Blue naevi

These moles are dark blue in color; mostly flat by sometimes they are slightly raised

• Dysplastic naevi

They are also referred to as Clark or atypical moles. They are larger, bumpy and can be a range of colors

How Often Should You Check Your Skin for Moles?

This might come as a surprise, but everyone should check for moles at least once in 3 months. However, if you stay around a person with melanoma, or you have noticed new moles that irk you, you should do a full body checkup at least once a month.

The Skin Mole Self-Exam

 While most moles are harmless, some of them usually indicate the onset of skin cancer. Therefore, it is important to regularly check your skin for any suspicious moles. A head to toe exam is recommended for every self-exam checkup.

Check the Body Systematically 

   

• Head

Thoroughly examine the face, ears, mouth nose, lips and the scalp

• Torso

Face the full length mirror and inspect the torso, neck and chest. Women should check under the breasts as well. Lift up your hands and check both sides. 

When examining the back torso use a hand held mirror when facing away from the full length mirror. Thoroughly examine all other body parts at the back.

• Lower body

You can take a sit and thoroughly inspect your legs, feet, feet soles, between the toes, the genitals and the insides of your thighs. Check your shoulders, arms, elbows, palms, fingers and fingernails.

If you do see any new moles, be sure to note their color, shape, defined borders, and size. In case of old moles, check for any changes. 

When to Go To Hospital

Skin self-exam helps point out problem areas and curbs the development of any serious condition.  You can get a consultation online through the numerous health sites today. If you find anything amiss or you are not sure whether that nasty rash means anything or not, it is time to consult a certified dermatologist.

Do not attempt to make a self-diagnosis; you need a certified specialist to determine whether your mole is cancerous or harmless. While the mole apps come in handy in pointing out risky moles, you shouldn’t trust them with your life. Go to a doctor and have a biopsy done to clear you.

Parting Shot

One cannot overemphasize the importance of regular checkups. While most moles are normal and pose no danger, others are cancerous. If you have any moles that are large, pinkish in color with irregular or smudgy borders, you should get a professional check immediately. If you have a mole that is painful, itchy, or it bleeds, you should also get checked up by a professional. 

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