Mole Removal Surgery

Mole Removal Surgery

If you’ve recently noticed a small black or dark brown spot on your arm that wasn’t there before, there’s a good chance that it’s a mole.  Some people love them, some people hate them, but whatever your opinion of these (usually) tiny skin pigmentations, it’s good to know what causes moles in order to understand what they actually are and what their purpose is.

Moles are Natural

Most people begin their lives with very few moles and end up with ten, twenty, or even up to forty by the time they’ve hit middle age.  Don’t worry – this is normal.  Moles are caused by the excessive building up of a certain type of skin cell in one place.  As we age and grow, our skin cells continue to reproduce, and we are more likely to see moles sprout up because of increased skin cell activity.

Specifically, the skin cells that cause moles are called menalocytes.  These are a darker pigmentation than other skin cells, and a mole is simply an overabundance of these darker skin cells all in one place.  Because they are a natural occurrence in our bodies, most moles made up of melanocytes are not dangerous.

Moles are also produced based partly on our genetics.  If your parents have an abundance of moles, you are likely to sport them as well.  To get a good indicator of your future mole prospects, look at your parents and grandparents.

Moles may grow with time

Certain life events may cause new moles to appear, or old moles to grow, change shape, become raised, and even sprout hair.  Becoming pregnant can increase the visibility of moles, as can body changes during your teenage years.

It is still a contentious issue, but some people believe that moles are caused by, or at least respond to, sun exposure.  The scientific data is mixed, with some findings showing a direct impact of sunlight on moles and others finding no such relationship.   However, sun exposure is not good for our skin as it is, so if you are concerned about increasing the number of moles you have, your best bet is to stay out of direct sunlight, just in case.

The causes and reasons for moles are still fuzzy

So with all of our scientific advancement, we should have moles all figured out, right?  Not quite.  Despite the fact that we can pinpoint many of the causes of moles and the factors that contribute to their growth, scientists still don’t really know their purpose.

Moles could be just an anomaly in our genetic code that causes some people to show clusters of melanocytes while others do not, or there could be some ancient, long-lost reason behind why these dark spots appear.

However, just because we do not know why they are cause does not mean they are harmless.  Be careful of abnormal looking moles – ones with rough edges, hairs, or ones that become raised – because these could lead to skin cancer.  Be sure to discuss any of your concerns about your moles with your doctor, just to be sure.

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