Is the mole on your arm just a mole or is it already a cancerous one? Kaycee Reyes, M.D., the skin and laser specialist and dermatologist behind Luminisce Holistic Skin Innovations in Bonifacio Global City explains what it is and lists down the signs you should look out for to determine if it’s cancerous or not. 

What are moles?
Moles are benign or harmless clusters of cells (melanocytes) that are responsible for the production of dark pigment (melanin), which gives color to our skin.

Moles usually develop from childhood to early adulthood, but some may have them since birth.  They can be found on any part of the skin especially on the face, neck and outer arms.  

Moles develop in people who are chronically exposed to the sun and in those individuals who are genetically predisposed to have it.

The quantity of moles is proportional to skin color (the paler, the greater the amount) and to burning of the skin.

How can I determine if a mole is cancerous? 
Moles are not likely to develop into melanoma (a dangerous type of skin cancer), but you should be wary of large moles that have been present ever since birth or dysplastic moles, both of which have a higher tendency to develop malignancy (melanoma).


Moles usually develop until your reach your 30s and 40s.  If you develop moles beyond that age range, you might want to consult a doctor.

Doctor’s note:
Dermatologists use dermatoscope to analyze if the mole is cancerous or not.  If there is any doubt about the diagnosis, get a sample of the mole and one of your normal skin and bring it to the lab for microscopic confirmation.

 

PHOTO: Instagram.com @johnny_good_1; ILLUSTRATION: Mixi Ignacio

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