Moles in Children – Symptoms & Prevention
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There is no person on earth who wouldn’t be aware of moles! Mostly hereditary, moles are visible spots on the skin. Moles are also known to be birthmarks that may appear on any part of the skin. If you are worried about a mole and its size on your kid’s skin, the following section would be a knowledge booster.
What Are Moles?
Scientifically known as the melanocytic nevus, a mole is a common growth on the skin. It is like a small lesion on the skin’s surface that could vary in colour and size. A mole on a baby could be flat, raised, small, or even enlarged. Moles are known to generally appear in the first two decades of a human’s life. The moles may get bigger or can even fade away with time.
Are Moles Hazardous?
Most of the times, moles are not hazardous. These are normal occurrences on the skin that may appear to be on any part of your body. In rare cases, a form of skin cancer, called malignant melanoma, can develop. UV rays are responsible for most cases in a previously well child.
A congenital mole or an atypical mole is more prone to melanoma. Getting abnormal occurrence and appearance of moles checked would be the possible situation, while there is still time. An “ABCDE” rule for pediatric melanoma has been proposed: A melanotic, B leeding, B umps, uniform C olour, small D iameter, D e novo and E volution.
Can Moles Change Over Time?
Moles can and do change over time. Be it the colour or the size, moles tend to change in a human’s lifetime. Though the change is a slow one, moles start out small, and turn out to enlarge with time. The shade of the mole may also change with time, as it may get darker in certain stages in life. For your surprise, the mole on your kid may also fade away with time, but again it would take some time.
Moles may even develop hair on it that could turn out to look ugly. Talking to a dermatologist would be apt in this case as your kid may lose confidence and may stop interacting socially.
When Does Your Child’s Mole Needs to Be Checked?
Though melanoma is rare in kids, it needs to be checked upon if the following symptoms arise:
1. Rapid Growth
Generally, a mole grows slowly over time. And, it is common that the mole may lighten or darken with time. But if the mole on your baby’s body grows at a rapid rate, it could be a matter of concern. Also, notice the appearance of the mole. If it appears to be ugly and different from the usual ones, it could be melanoma.
2. Dome Shaped
Moles are generally flat, and if raised it is to very small fractions. But if the mole is raised to an extent where it is quite visible to the naked eye, and seems like dome-shaped, contacting the dermatologist is a preferable option. They would examine the mole closely and if found serious, could even suggest getting it removed.
3. A Bleeding Mole
Mostly harmless, a mole could be nothing more than a spot on the skin. However, there may be times when your mole gets irritated and may itch to the extent that it bleeds. If the moles on children’s face or anywhere across the skin appear to be wound-like, consult a dermatologist.
4. Frequency of Moles
Moles could be birthmarks or may even emerge with time. It is normal for your kid to develop moles at any point in time. However, if you feel like your child is developing too many moles within a certain time frame, you can get it checked out.
5. The Enlarged Size
In common cases, a mole is a rounded structure that appears to be as small as a dot. However, there are also cases where your ward may have an enlarged, visible spot on the skin. A mole that is 7 inches in diameter or more may be a cause to get it checked by a doctor.
How to Prevent Moles from Developing
One has no control over the moles that emerge as birthmarks. On the contrary, you can help control the ones that appear with time. Sunlight has been known to amplify the mole frequency and the shade variance. This is why limiting the sun exposure is recommended.
Another avoidance method could be applying sunscreen whenever your baby steps out in the open in the daytime. Also, look for shady areas where your kids could play and keep them covered with hats on their head and full-length clothes on the body.
When Does Doctor Recommend Removal of Mole?
Usually, a mole is something you should be least bothered about. But if your kid complains of irritation and is always scratching through the mole, you need to consult a dermatologist. He can prefer removing it if need be.
Moles are common occurrences on the skin. However, sometimes, moles may be an indication of a serious condition, such as melanoma. Given the lack of effective therapy for melanoma, prevention and early detection are the most effective measures.