Pigmented skin lesions are known as moles. They may vary in color from dark brown to black. These pigmented lesions can occur anywhere on the body. They may be just one mole or multiple
The majority of moles are acquired during childhood. Or during the first two decades of life. Most individual may have anywhere from 1-10 moles. For some unknown reason, moles may also occur much later in life.
There are a lot of myths associated with moles. Different cultures ascribe different values to moles ranging from ability to perform magic to being Royalty. All these myths are false. Moles are simply a collection of colored cells which sometimes have the potential to become malignant.
Moles have been studied thoroughly. The majority of moles have a life spam of 40-50 years.
During their life time. Moles do change color ranging from brown to dark.
In addition, they also change size and often become elevated. Some moles in childhood do have hair growth on them. There are certain moles, which do not show either color or size, change and remain static.
Moles may darken after exposure to the sun, during the teen years and during pregnancy.
Exactly why a mole occurs in not really known. They are related to cells which form the pigment in the skin and some believe that moles are just an aggregation of these pigmented cells.
The two most common types of moles are:
Congenital Nevi: These moles develop at birth and are quite common. They may appear anywhere on the body. Congenital nevi have a higher chance of turning into to melanomas. All congenital moles which are large (> 6-8 cm) have to be observed as they can turn into a melanoma.
Dysplastic Nevi: These moles are smaller and irregular in shape. They tend to be irregular in size and color also. These moles are acquired during birth and are quite common. The chance of dysplastic turning into melanomas depends on the size and number. Any individual with a large number of dysplastic moles must be followed closely by a dermatologist