Are moles on body a serious health problem

If you notice your skin carefully as it changes with age, you may come across marks, bumps or maybe even moles. Moles on your body are typically pigmented growths on the skin. But should you be worried if you see too many of them?

Let’s first understand what are moles?

Moles are most commonly known as acquired or common moles. With age, the size and colour of moles can start changing. Usually, these colour changes are normal. According to research, a healthy adult has around 10 to 40 moles that can appear on any part of the body. Moles are brown or black growths on the skin. They first appear at birth and continue to develop until the age of 50.

People can have moles on any part of the body such as on the scalp, on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands, fingers and toes. Moles appear on the skin primarily when pigment cells in the skin grow in clusters instead of being spread throughout the skin. These cells are known as melanocytes and because of these cells that make the pigment giving skin its natural colour.

Moles are a type of skin pigmentation! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What causes moles on the body?

Moles can be caused due to different reasons such as excess exposure to sunlight, tanning of skin or even genetics or family history of moles. They are mainly caused by overproduction of a pigment known as melanin in the skin. This is the pigment which imparts the skin colour.

Are moles on your body a sign of health problems?

Usually, moles do not signify any health risk. There are rare cases of unusual moles which end up being cancerous in nature. The appearance of too many moles can start with getting too much exposure to sunlight. These moles on the skin are generally harmless, but it is always important to look out for signs that can change with growing age.

Also, read: Get rid of warts with these 8 simple and effective home remedies

moles on body
Find out the cause of moles. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What should you typically look out for?

A non-changing mole is harmless. But if the mole is undergoing suspicious changes, like the area of mole is painful or crusting and bleeding is there, and the sudden appearance of too many moles, can be suggestive of malignant changes. These could be signs of melanoma and require immediate attention from your dermatologists.

Melanoma is a rare skin disease. Sometimes, due to higher number of moles, there are higher chances of moles turning into cancerous and developing into melanoma.

Along with paying attention to the type of moles on the skin, it is also important to always look at the number of moles on the body. Appearance of common moles are normal and shouldn’t always be a cause for concern. But, the appearance of more than 50 common moles on the skin can increase the risk factor for skin cancer. If you experience the appearance of a lot of moles on the body, regardless of the type of moles that they are, you should always consult your dermatologist for the same.

Risk of skin cancer

Appearance of certain types of moles or an abnormal and excessive amount of moles can increase the risk for skin cancer.

There are other risk factors that are also very harmful for the skin.

sun exposure
Limit your sun exposure or practice safety measures. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

* Always take a look at the skin type. Very pale skin can increase the risk for skin cancer.
* Always use caution during sun exposure, especially if you are prone to be sunburned or if you live in an exceptionally sunny climate.
* Exposure to certain unnatural substances and exposure to radiation can also cause the risk for skin cancer.

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