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Doctors are good at telling which moles are probably normal and which look as if they might be atypical or unusual or even cancers. To tell if a mole is an early cancer, the doctor will usually need to look at some cells from the mole under a microscope.

Some specialist clinics eg at Addenbrooke's Dermatology have equipment that detects the most atypical suspicious moles without the need for biopsy. If a biopsy of a mole indicates the presence of atypical or already cancerous cells, removal of the mole will probably be recommended. The removal of the mole usually includes the removal of a normal margin of tissue around the mole.

This is to ensure that no cancer cells remain around the site of the mole. There are different techniques for mole removal according to where they are on your body. Those on the face are treated very carefully to minimise any scarring. Your doctor will carefully explain what is involved for you and support you throughout the process. Your general practitioner is the best person to advise you about the removal of moles within the NHS. For example, it might not be a health priority of the NHS for moles to be removed for purely cosmetic reasons. If the mole seems suspicious to them, it will be a priority to know if it is a skin cancer and they will advise you of how to proceed.

Jump to navigation. Together - Safe Kind Excellent. Website accessibility help. Frequently asked questions about freckles, moles and melanomas. What are freckles and skin moles? Why do we have pigment in our skin? What causes pigmentation of the skin? What causes skin moles and are they 'normal'? You can have any number of moles, and most never become cancerous. This type tends to be most common amongst people with lighter skin tones and hair color. People of Caucasian and Asian descent are more prone to ephelides.

Solar letigines : Like ephelides, this type tends to appear in Caucasians and adults over 40 years old. The credit for freckles goes to both the natural environment and genetics. Your risk for burning can increase the incidence of freckles. In a study of middle-aged French women, two elements predicted the presence of freckles: frequent sunburns and a gene known as MC1R, which provides instructions for making melanin. There are two type of melanin: pheomelanin and eumelanin. For solar lentigines, the French study also found that several different factors increased the likelihood, including:.

All freckles fall into the ephelides and solar lentigines category, although freckles and sun spots can differ.

What to know about freckles

Solar lentigines include sunspots, which can sometimes be scaly. Moles are not the same as freckles. They are still skin lesions but are often darker and not necessarily associated with sun exposure. Like ephelides though, moles are more common among light-skinned people. A mole is made of an excess of pigment-forming cells with a greater than average supply of blood vessels. Moles can take on a wide variety of appearances. The color can range from brown to pink and can assume different shapes. Freckles and moles by themselves pose no threat. But moles can suggest an increased risk for melanoma , or malignant skin cancer.

Make an appointment with your doctor or a dermatologist if your freckles, moles, or sunspots display one or more of the above criteria.

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The risk of melanoma increases with the number of moles. Someone with moles can have a 1. This can be as high as times more for someone with moles or more. In one analysis, the risk of melanoma for white populations was approximately 32 and 20 times higher than people with darker skin. An annual screening is a good idea, if you fall into one of the at-risk categories or develop a new mole. For people who want to avoid freckles, prevention is key.

Why Do Some People (Especially Red Heads) Have Freckles? | Mental Floss

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on your skin. Wait 15 minutes before heading outdoors for full protection. Do this every day, even in the winter, to prevent further pigmentation. Louis University.


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