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Moles, also known as nevi, are common skin growths composed of pigmented cells called melanocytes. These cells distribute melanin, the pigment responsible for skin colour, hair, and eye colour. Moles can vary in size, shape, and tone, appearing as raised or flat spots on the skin. While most are benign, some may evolve into melanomas, a potentially harmful form of skin cancer, making regular monitoring essential.

Moles can impact one’s appearance, and their significance varies. Some individuals view moles as beauty marks, enhancing uniqueness, while others may find them bothersome. The location, size, and quantity of moles contribute to their aesthetic impact. Facial moles, for instance, may be perceived differently than those on less visible areas.

The development of moles is primarily influenced by genetic factors, with a predisposition to their formation often running in families. Additionally, sun exposure plays a role, as ultraviolet (UV) radiation can trigger the proliferation of melanocytes, leading to the appearance of new or changes in existing ones.

In cases where moles exhibit irregularities in colour, shape, or size, medical attention is often required, as these could be indicative of melanoma. Doctors and other healthcare professionals recommend regular skin checks and sun protection measures to minimise the risk of mole-related issues and to ensure the early detection of any potentially harmful changes.

Minor surgery is often recommended when a mole is unwanted, or following careful monitoring of a mole that has changed in size, shape or tone. This involves excision techniques whereby the mole and some surrounding skin and tissues are removed. It is often the case that the mole will be sent to a laboratory for testing – especially if it has become suspicious. Aesthetically, the treated area will become more even in tone, with minor scarring fading over time.

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