13th March 2018

Why Do We Get Moles?

For most people, moles are a normal part of everyday life. Many babies are born with moles, with new moles often appearing throughout childhood and teenage years, while some moles fade and disappear entirely as we age. Moles are small, pigmented growths on the skin that vary in size, shape, colour and texture, but in general they are more or less harmless.

Other than looking rather unsightly, there is no cause for concern unless your mole physically changes in any way. Be sure to keep a close eye on aspects such as colour and shape, among others, and if you do notice any changes then it is better to see your GP or a dermatologist, like Dr Firas, for a ‘peace of mind’ check-up.

Reasons we get moles

But why do we get moles? They can appear singularly or in groups anywhere on your skin and it is perfectly normal to have up to 40 by adulthood. The reason they form is due to the melanocyte cells – the cells responsible for making the pigment that gives your skin its unique colour – forming in clusters as opposed to spreading out.

This is why moles appear pigmented and darker than the rest of our skin, sometimes getting even darker at certain stages in our lives, such as puberty and pregnancy, or following prolonged sun exposure. There are numerous types of mole, varying in appearance, with some that are more likely to develop into melanoma than others. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that is most common in young women, which is why it is so important to keep a close eye on your moles.

Regularly check your moles

This is why it is important to regularly check your moles, especially those in areas that are exposed to the harmful UV rays in sunlight often, such as the arms, legs and face. It can be hard to check those hard to reach areas, like the back, but don’t be afraid to ask a friend to help you or schedule a quick skin health check-up to be sure.

When checking your own moles, Dr Firas Al-Niaimi recommends following the ABCD changes checklist – Asymmetry, Border, Colour, Diameter. In any case, don’t hesitate to get in touch and schedule a consultation with Dr Firas at his Harley Street clinic should you have any doubts or concerns. As a world-renowned dermatologist with years of training and experience, you are in the safest of hands.

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