Operation “mole”: what are the dangers of nevi, who is at risk and in …

Health Tips

All people have moles. They can differ in quantity, size, color and shape, they are congenital and acquired. It is worth looking at the skin of the hands, feet, body – a scattering of brown, beige, reddish and colorless spots, some of them are convex, some are flat. Some nevi may remind of a grandmother, because she had exactly the same, in the same place, some cause indifference, and some even cause irritation from childhood.

The main reasons for visiting a doctor about moles

Mole damage

One of the most common reasons for visiting a doctor for a mole. Usually, in the event of trauma, people are afraid because they have heard enough stories that someone damaged a mole and then skin cancer developed because of this. However, this is a delusion: mechanical damage does not increase the risk of nevus degeneration. If the mole is located in an “unfortunate” place (beard growth zone, under the straps, in the belt area) and is periodically injured, in this case, the need for its removal should be discussed with the doctor. In other cases, if you injured her, use a healing cream and cover with a band-aid to avoid additional damage. Before visiting the doctor, do not apply coloring solutions (fucorcin, brilliant green) to the wound area, this will greatly complicate the examination.

Sunburn

This is a really dangerous factor. Such damage can occur either with prolonged exposure to the sun or in a solarium, or with a pronounced intensity of exposure. It is the injury as a result of exposure to ultraviolet radiation, and in a simple way a sunburn, that has a very negative effect on moles. The sun itself is not as dangerous as illiterate behavior on it. Short and intense exposure to ultraviolet light contributes to sunburn. It is in solariums that we get it, which is why doctors do not recommend visiting them. Accurate “entry into the summer”, a gradual slow set of tan will not harm the body. And when traveling to regions with an active sun, you need to remember the rules that will protect you from sunburn:

  • sunbathe only in the morning until 10 and in the evening after 17, avoid direct sunlight at lunchtime;

  • it is best to check the activity of the sun in the weather application by the value of the UV index: 0-2 protection is not needed, 3-7 sun protection is needed, above 8 – enhanced protection is needed, it is better not to leave the room;

  • on the street, wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothes, preferably wearing hats (Panama, hat, cap) or an umbrella. Protect your eyes with sunglasses that are not just dark glasses, but also UV filters.

  • use sunscreen correctly (the product must contain UVA and B filters, apply the product 15-20 minutes before leaving the house, renew the sunscreen every 1.5-2 hours and after each bath, do not use the product after the expiration date)

Who is at risk of rebirth of moles

Before deciding on such drastic measures, it is worthwhile to understand whether a person is at risk of developing skin cancer. This does not mean at all that in the absence of these conditions, a dangerous mole cannot appear, it only means that there are people who should closely monitor the condition of their skin. At particular risk are people who have a history of one or more of the following conditions:

  • Skin cancer in the past.

  • Oncology of the skin in one of the relatives.

  • Episodes of sunburn throughout life from early childhood: it is worth considering that the more burns, the higher the risk.

  • Multiple pigment spots on the skin.

  • Multiple dysplastic nevi – benign nevi, which have a high probability of degeneration into a malignant neoplasm – only an experienced oncodermatologist can determine them.

  • The presence of freckles and a light skin phototype: when a person always burns in the sun and the formation of a tan does not occur.

  • Age over 60 years.

  • Frequent visits to the solarium in anamnesis, especially if the duration of the session is more than 5 minutes and at the same time the refusal to use sunscreen in the solarium.

What to do if you are at risk

If you have counted one or more conditions, there is no need to panic – however, it is worth following the recommendations that are common to this risk group. It is necessary to limit exposure to the sun during active hours (in different latitudes from 11:00 to 15:30). In case of active insolation, regularly renew the SPF every 2-3 hours. Always use sunscreen on exposed skin, regardless of where you live or the season. It is also necessary to undergo an examination by an oncodermatologist 1-2 times a year, and even better – draw up a skin passport and update it annually.

How to protect yourself

The best prevention for melanoma is regular check-ups. It can be done independently in order to timely contact a specialist. In some cases, the doctor points to moles that can not be removed, but which must be closely monitored. You can photograph them once every three months to observe the presence or absence of changes.

There are some signs that should alert you: any change in color, size, shape of the mole, the appearance of asymmetry (it grows from a round one in different directions), a change in the surface (the appearance of roughness, bleeding with a light touch, the formation of a non-healing wound on the mole), as well as unpleasant sensations in this place (burning, itching, pain, numbness). Any of these signs is a reason for immediate medical attention.

Separately, it is worth noting that the large size of a mole, especially if it has been present on the body for quite some time, does not always indicate its danger. Melanoma can develop from an element of 2–3 mm in size. Therefore, even a smooth, but suddenly appeared richly dark mole of small size (especially after exposure to the sun) is a cause for concern. And only a doctor using a special research method (dermatoscopy) will be able to accurately determine whether it is worth worrying about.

Modern methods of mole removal

The most modern and effective methods for removing neoplasms are CO2 laser and radio waves. It is recommended to remove small moles with a laser, examined using dermatoscopy, when the malignant nature of the neoplasm is completely excluded. The safest method is radio wave removal, since, if necessary, in addition to careful and careful removal, a mole sample can be safely taken for histological examination in order to exclude an unfavorable diagnosis.

Is it possible to remove a mole on my own

It is not recommended to remove neoplasms at home, since it is impossible to independently determine the nature of the mole without special knowledge and equipment.

Quite often, tragic cases occur when people remove their mole and thereby provoke the rapid development of melanoma and its metastasis. By contacting a specialist in time, you can carefully remove the neoplasm and save your life. In addition, those products that are often used at home are able to uncontrollably penetrate deep into the skin, actually corroding it. This leads to serious defects in appearance in the form of deep disfiguring scars. This is especially risky in cases where the neoplasm is localized in open areas of the body.

How often should moles be examined by a doctor

First of all, it is important to remember that melanoma is the most dangerous and aggressive type of skin cancer. The most amazing thing is that everyone remembers the danger of lung cancer or breast cancer, but completely overlooks our most extensive organ. The skin is not only the largest organ, but also the most accessible for inspection!

It is strongly recommended that you follow the recommendations of the American Society of Dermatology and the European Society of Dermatology and be sure to examine your skin once a year. Moreover, at the end of May, everyone can make a full-fledged free examination, as part of the melanoma prevention day.

It is important that the specialist examine the entire skin completely: all the folds, depressions, between the fingers, under the hair, including in intimate places. After the examination, the doctor notes the most dangerous moles and performs dermatoscopy. Situations often arise when a patient treats a visually disturbing mole, which turns out to be a common seborrheic keratoma or nevus that does not cause concern to the doctor. Conversely, a small, inconspicuous neoplasm may carry suspicious signs during dermatoscopy. Therefore, it is very important to have an annual examination of all skin neoplasms by a doctor, regardless of whether they bother you or not.

Indications for the removal of moles

  1. Growth and change of neoplasm. Such moles must be sent for a biopsy.

  2. For aesthetic reasons. If moles do not change shape and size, but still interfere or irritate.

  3. If moles are constantly injured, for example, from contact with clothing, underwear straps, chains, or are located in the armpits, folds.

Photo: depositphotos, pexels.com

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