One of the most common birthmarks is the nevi, or mole. A mole is simply the clustering of cells in the skin, rather than the gradual spreading of the cells. They may be flesh colored or pigmented with sun exposure. They usually appear more visibly at age 20 and most people have them. While a majority of moles are harmless, there are instances where they should be looked at and possibly removed for health reasons. Here are some warning signs to bring up with your doctor:
- Irregularly shaped moles that are not symmetrical
- Changes in size or shape over time
- Changes in color or red edges around the mole
- Bleeding or itchy moles
It is important to have these conditions looked at by a doctor as they are also symptoms of melanoma, a skin cancer. Removal of the mole often lessens the risk of the patient developing melanoma.
Most of the time moles can be easily removed with a small incision leaving only a tiny scar. The smaller the mole, the easier the removal. If the nevi covers a larger area, a laser may be used to reduce its size and appearance. Surgical removal is possible, but a skin graft may be necessary.
It is also common for moles to be removed for purely aesthetic reasons as well. If you do not like where a mole is situated or if it causes discomfort when rubbed by clothing, talk to a birthmark removal specialist or dermatologist in your area. Mole or Nevi removal is very common, but size and location can make removal tricky. Discuss options for nevus removal with your doctor.
Posted on behalf of:
The Vascular Birthmark Center Los Angeles
435 N. Bedford Drive, Suite 203
Beverly Hills, CA 90210