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A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Moles


Moles: Moles are clusters of pigmented cells that often appear as small, dark brown spots.  However moles can come in a range of colours and can develop virtually anywhere on your body. Most moles are harmless but in rare cases, moles may become cancerous.

Moles can change in number and appearance. Some fade away over time, often without you realising. They also sometimes respond to hormonal changes, for example during:
  •     pregnancy – when they may get slightly darker
  •     teenage years – when they increase in number
  •     older age – when they may disappear from 40 to 50 years of age onwards
Monitoring moles and other pigmented patches is an important step in detecting skin cancer, especially malignant melanoma. Some moles may begin as a new growth on the skin.

You should check your skin every few months for any new moles that develop (particularly after your teenage years, when new moles become less common) or any changes to existing moles. A mole can change in weeks or months. Things to look for include
  •     moles with uneven colouring – most moles only have one or two colours, but melanomas have lots of different shades
  •     moles with an uneven or ragged edge – moles are usually circular or oval with a smooth border
  •     bleeding, itching, red, inflamed (swollen) or crusty moles
  •     moles that get a lot bigger – most moles are no bigger than the width of a pencil
If you notice any changes to your moles or are worried about them, see your doctor. Changes to a mole may be an early indication of a type of skin cancer called melanoma.


Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies
    


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