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8 Common Misconceptions about Moles

Edited By: Sheldon O'Riley
 There are many false facts regarding suntan and melanoma that people believe. Some people sound the alarm as soon as a mole starts to grow and change its appearance, while others don’t remove a dodgy mole until it’s absolutely necessary. Below are 8 popular myths about moles that should have been debunked a long time ago.
 
1. Melanoma Most Commonly Appears on the Face and Hands
Moles

It’s easy to spot weird moles and spots on your face, but according to statistics, the most commonly affected areas are the back in men and on the legs in women. Doctors advise paying close attention to areas where moles come in contact with clothes or shoes due to a higher risk of injury.

With every sunburn, especially the ones that you got in early childhood, the potential for the development of melanoma increases. Furthermore, if a member of your immediate family has had melanoma, you have a higher risk of getting it.

2. A Particular Danger is Posed by Big, Dark, and Raised Moles

During the early stages, a malignant tumor looks like a normal mole. If you have more than 50 moles on your whole body, then it’s a good idea to get them all examined by an oncologist and a dermatologist. Blue-eyed, light-skinned, red-haired, and freckle-faced people are in the high-risk group.

Dark spots that look like little moles on an eyeball are a cause for concern and require an ophthalmologist examination. In the majority of cases, they’re harmless, but some can be a sign of malignant eye damage.

3. Only Cancerous Moles should be Removed
Moles

Doctors can remove any mole if it’s physically uncomfortable or aesthetically displeasing. For example, if you think that you might injure it accidentally or that it doesn’t look good on your face, go and have it removed.

4. Getting a Mole Removed with a Scalpel is an Outdated Practice

A scalpel is the most effective way to remove a mole. This is because a scalpel is able to remove a mole completely, eradicating the threat of any cancerous cells spreading. The removed mole is then sent for a histological examination to see if it contains cancerous cells. If it does, treatment will begin immediately.

However, when it comes to the ears, face, fingers, or genitals, doctors recommend radio-frequency surgery.

 
5. Some People Have a Lot of Freckles from Birth. You Don’t Have to worry about It
Moles

There is a dysplastic nevus syndrome which is characterized by multiple moles and freckles on the body. Every single mole has the potential to turn into malicious melanoma. Therefore, people with such a skin condition should check their skin using a dermascope – which takes photos of the skin and traces the appearance of new moles.

People with freckles are vulnerable to UV rays. Freckles don’t contain much melanin, which is why they are paler than moles. Therefore, people with freckles should use sunscreen with a protective factor of 35 or more when out in the sun.

6. Dark-Skinned People don’t Need Sunscreen

People with darker skin do have more protection from UV rays, but they’re still a long way away from African elephants, whose thick skin and special genes make them impervious to harmful rays. This is why dark-skinned people still need to use sunscreen, put on headwear, and avoid going out in the midday sun.

7. If You Injure a Mole It Should Be Removed
Moles

Firstly, if you injure a mole, you need to get it cleaned up to avoid contamination. Then, after it’s been cleaned, apply an ointment that helps with tissue regeneration. After that, schedule an appointment with an oncologist and dermatologist as quickly as possible.

Injuring a mole doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be removed. However, very often, inner pathological processes make it very vulnerable to further injuries. A doctor’s examination can help to eliminate the risk of melanoma developing.

8. If You Rip a Mole Off, You’ll Get Cancer

There’s no clear evidence that this can lead to melanoma. Very often, an injured mole that turns out to be a melanoma was already cancerous.  

If a mole is bleeding, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have caught it somehow. Pathological processes inside a mole can also cause bleeding. This is a very dangerous symptom that shouldn’t be ignored.

 

Source: brightside
Images: depositphotos

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