What is a skin mole?
Moles are growths that appear on your skin and range pink, brown, to black. A mole is medically referred to as nevus and when they occur in a group, they are known as nevi. Moles occur when certain skin cells in the melanocyte family grow in clusters. The melanocytes are responsible for giving your skin the natural color and when moles occur, they appear as dark spots because of the increased concentration in melanin containing melanocytes.
Moles are common in most individuals and appear in early childhood to early adulthood. It is normal for one to have ten to thirty moles by adulthood. Usually, these moles are harmless but in rare cases the mole may become cancerous.
There are generally two types of moles;
Congenital moles/nevi: Develops and appear during birth. Moles occurring during birth should be monitored as they can develop into melanoma.
Dysplastic moles: The nevi are larger than average and have an irregular shape. These lesions have uneven color with dark brown centers and lighter edges.
To determine whether the spot on your skin is a nevus, use the ABCDE criterion which is commonly used by dermatologists;
Asymmetry: One half of a spot is not similar to the other half. Most moles acquire an oval shape.
Border: The edges of a nevus are usually rugged and irregular.
Color: The color of a mole varies from one to another. The color keeps evolving and ranges from brown, black, or red.
Diameter: The size of a mole varies but in most individuals, moles appear larger than a pencil eraser.
Evolution: A mole keeps changing in size, color, and shape as it grows.
Surface appearance: Moles can appear smooth or wrinkled and it can either be flat or raised from the skin surface.
Moles are asymptomatic and may not need removal but it is necessary to visit your doctor if the nevus interferes with daily life or pose a medical problem. Some signs and symptoms that may indicate medical problem include;
Itching and burning sensation
Sudden changes in size, shape, color, or surface appearance of the mole.
How are moles removed?
There are two main different approaches to mole removal, hospital remedies and home remedies. The common procedures to remove a mole in the hospital include;
Surgical excision: This is done by cutting the mole with the surrounding healthy skin with a scalpel or a skin punch. Sutures are used to close the open skin.
Surgical shave: The doctor numbs the area and cuts out the area and beneath the mole. This procedure is done on small moles and the opening does not require sutures to heal.
Home remedies for mole removal are used to lighten and mask the mole for aesthetic purposes. The remedies are cheaper and ingredients are readily available hence convenient. The common remedies you can use include;
Pineapple juice: Natural pineapple juice or pulp has properties which lighten the mole. It is wise you apply daily until you notice the fade.
Apple cedar vinegar: Wash the mole with warm water so the skin around the nevus becomes supple. Soak a cotton wool in the vinegar juice and place it on the mole for 20 minutes and then wash off with clean water.
Garlic: Garlic contains sulphur-rich juice which removes the mole over time. Tie garlic cloves on the mole overnight for 2 to 3 days.
Aloe Vera gel: Apply the gel on the nevus spot with a clean cotton wool for three hours until the gel soaks in. Repeat the procedure until the mole is removed.
Natural oils: Use of these oils is the most effective home remedy as only few drops are required to start the mole removal.