Melanoma is a life-threating form of skin cancer which is especially aggressive and claims millions of lives every year around the world. Whilst deadly, melanoma can be treated successfully if caught in the early stages. One way of doing this is for people to carry out skin mole identification methods regularly, checking their moles for any irregularities or warning signs.
What are Moles?
Moles are basically a group of melanocytes (skin cells which produce melanin). Instead of being dispersed around the body evenly, they group together to form moles. The high concentration of melanin in the area causes most moles to become dark brown or black in color.
High Risk Moles
Many people have anywhere up to around forty moles on their body which are usually seen before the age of twenty. For the most part, these moles will present no risk whatsoever and be benign (non-cancerous). However, there are certain types of moles that greatly increase the risk of melanoma. These are:
- Giant congenital moles – congenital moles are moles which are present from birth. They are categorized as either small or giant. Giant congenital moles are over 20cm in diameter. These moles are known to be more likely to become cancerous.
- Atypical moles – also known as dysplastic nevi. An atypical mole can be irregular in shape and color. They will often have rough jagged edges which may be blurry as opposed to the smooth solid borders of the normal round or oval moles found on most people. The color can be patchy, being darker in the center then fading out towards the border. One of these moles being present on the body is said to increase the risk of cancer by ten. Those with atypical mole syndrome must be highly vigilant in checking their moles.
Once a mole has been identified, a person may want to remove the skin lesion. It could be because the mole is in an undesirable place on the body which is highly visible such as the face, arms or legs or it could be that the mole is in a position where it is constantly being knocked or scraped, leading to great irritation for the sufferer.
In any case, it is first important to be sure to check moles thoroughly to make sure they are benign. If there are any doubts about whether this is true or not, then a dermatologist should be consulted. Once a person can be sure that the mole is safe to be removed then they can choose one of three options for mole removal methods:
- Home remedies – Easily the cheapest solution, yet one of the slowest methods with a fair amount of trial and error mixed with patience and faith in order to obtain success.
- Over the counter products – Varying amount of success. Good creams may be able to work extremely quickly, giving people relief from the skin lesions at an affordable price.
- Mole surgery – There are a number of surgical procedures with varying prices. They are all effective in their own way but some can be extremely expensive. Each method works effectively for different types of moles.