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Itchy Mole

Itchy Mole

For those who have developed an itchy mole, the following article distinguishes between normal and cancerous moles, and brings forth the possible risk of developing a skin cancer.
Aastha Dogra
If you have developed itching in one of the moles on your body, without waiting any further, the first thing to do is to get it checked by a dermatologist. The reason being that itchy moles have high probability to turn out to be cancerous. Malignant Melanoma, a form of skin cancer, may develop in certain type of moles. This skin cancer is fatal, and should thus be detected and treated, as early as possible.
Moles on Skin
Normal Moles
There are some characteristics which are generally seen in normal moles. Firstly, normal moles are always evenly colored. The color may vary from brown to tan to black. The shape can be round or oval, but they do not have any edges as such. They can be raised or flat. As for the size, it is almost always lesser than 6 mm in diameter.
Cancerous Moles
Cancerous moles, just like normal moles, have some peculiar characteristics. If the moles suddenly change the shape or color, it is a warning sign that they could be cancerous. The second sign is a change in the size. If you find that the mole has increased in length or width, there is a possibility that it could be cancerous. Also, if the edges change in color or thickness, it is an alarming sign too. Moreover, if the mole is bleeding, it should be checked by a dermatologist immediately.
Risk Factors
There are certain misconceptions regarding skin moles. It is believed that only hairy moles or those on the sole of the feet, can develop into cancerous ones. However this is far from true. Following are some risk factors which increase the chances of developing a melanoma.
» Large number of moles
» Family history of melanoma
» Sensitive skin
» Several previous occurrences of sunburns
Diagnosis and Treatment
No one can diagnose a melanoma themselves. Therefore, in case of an itchy mole, it is necessary to seek medical help immediately.
» Firstly, the doctor will physically examine the mole.
» He will then inquire about the mole - about its first appearance, changes in color or size, severity of itching, etc.
» He may also examine the rest of your body to check for other moles or spots.
» The doctor may also try to feel the lymph nodes under the skin, since that is where the cancer spreads first.
» In case, a melanoma is suspected, you will be referred to a dermatologist, who will further perform a dermatoscopy to get a better view of the spots.
» If the dermatologist suspects a melanoma, a skin biopsy will be performed.
» If a melanoma is confirmed, you will be recommended to get it removed immediately through surgical incision.
Precautions
» As itchy moles often develop due to exposure to ultra violet rays, one must stay away from the sunlight, especially in the peak hours.
» When out in the sun, a sunscreen lotion with minimum SPF 25 should be applied. This will help in avoiding any irritation or damage to the sensitive skin areas as well as the moles.
As you can see, itchy moles on the skin should not be taken lightly in any circumstance. If you fall in the high risk category of developing a skin malignancy, make it a point that you get all the moles on your body examined on a regular basis. After all, precaution is any day better than cure.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.