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Crazy moles

If you have one of these burrowing into your face, it is time to visit the Dermatologist.

There are two main types of Mole. Good mole, and crazy mole.

The Types of Crazy

There are a few types of mole:

  • Common.jpg
    Normal moles - these are benign overgrowths of melanocytes. Most people have a few, and they are harmless. Interestingly, only 1% of babies are born with them, they develop later, peaking at puberty.
  • Rareimportant.jpg
    Melanoma - This is the one that everyone is scared about. It is the rarest type of skin cancer, but it is the 2nd commonest cancer in the 15-34 age group. It often metastatises, and is generally a bad deal. Can either develop from moles, or appear as a new mole. Thus, always treat new or changed mole with caution.
  • Uncommon.jpg
    Basal Cell Carcinoma - Most common skin cancer in white people, commoner in over 50s, common in over 75s. They very rarely spread around the body, but can get big, and ulcerate in the middle, becoming a rodent ulcer, eroding nearby structure and looking unsightly.
  • Uncommon.jpg
    Squamous Cell Carcinoma - Second most common skin cancer. Rare in dark skinned people. Starts as a red or pink growth, which can grow to look like a wart. In later stages can metastatise, and can eroid nearby structyre, but is generally treated before this point.

Hunting out the Crazy

There are some useful ways to decide whether or not your mole is a bad 'un:

  • Asymmetry - If the mole is the same on both sides, that's a good sign.
  • Border - Are the edges clearly defined, or are they blurred or jagged.
  • Colour - You want a constant colour, variations, or hints of blue, black or grey are bad.
  • Diameter - A normal mole is less than 6mm. If it's more than 48cm, panic!
  • Evolution - Any changes to the mole need checking up as soon as possible.

BURN THEM!!!!

Treatment for all the mole problems is fairly similar. Depending on severity, surgical removal is the dream, sometimes accompanied or replaced with radiotherapy. If its gone systemic, as melanoma can do, you may need some chemotherapy too...