Freckles, Moles And Skin TagsAug 16th, 2010 by RosieTanza. The difference between freckles, moles and skin tags. What to do if they look dangerous with the possibility of becoming cancerous.
What Are Freckles?
Freckles are brown spots that usually occur on the face and arms. They are more common during the summer and in people with light skin, and light or reddish hair. Freckles are usually hereditary or caused by exposure to the sun. There is no need to treat freckles, since they are usually harmless. It is important to use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, especially if the person is light-skinned, as they are more likely to develop skin cancer. Makeup or laser treatments can hide freckles if you do not like them.
What Are Moles?
Moles grow on the skin alone or in groups. They are usually brown or black in color. It's not uncommon for children to have them. We may have around 10 to 40 moles by adulthood. They can change slowly and become raised or change color. Hairs can develop on moles, while others may slowly fade away. Moles occur when melanocytes, or skin cells that produce skin pigmentation, grow in a cluster instead of normally being spread out through the skin. Moles can become darker with sun exposure, during adolescence, or during pregnancy.
A congenital nevi is a mole that appears at birth, and occurs in about one out of 100 people. These are more susceptible to becoming cancerous than moles that appear after birth. If a freckle or mole develops characteristics of a melanoma, or is more than 7 mm in diameter, it should be checked by a doctor or dermatologist.
Dysplastic nevi are moles that are larger than the average mole (about the size of a pencil eraser), and is irregular in shape. They are usually uneven in color, darker in the center and lighter along the edges. People can have more than 100 of these, and they may be more prone to developing into cancer. Any changes in these moles should also be checked. Cancerous moles are usually treated by cutting them out along with a rim of normal skin around it so the mole will not spread. The wound is then stitched and closed.
What Are Skin Tags?
Skin tags are flaps of tissue that hang from the skin by a connecting stalk. They are not dangerous, and they usually appear around the armpits, back, chest, under the breasts or in the groin
or on the neck. They do not cause pain, but can become irritated if jewelry or clothing rubs on them. They are usually caused by the constant rubbing or irritation from any of these items on the skin, causing a growth of skin in the form of a tag. A dermatologist can remove the tag by cutting it with a scissors or scalpel, freezing it off (cryosurgery), or burning the tag off with an electric current (electrosurgery).
on August 17, 2010 in In the News
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