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The dark coveted beauty spots on some people’s face that you envy are nothing but a form of skin lesions called moles. Skin moles can also be in the form of raised, hairy spots for some. ‘Nevi’ is the medical term given to moles. 

Moles may be present at birth, or they may appear during the first two decades of a person’s life. Moles often become prominent with age, and it is normal to have anywhere between 10-40 moles by adulthood. Moles may darken with repeated sun exposure or as a result of hormonal changes in pregnancy. The number of moles that develop in an individual is determined by both genetic factors and by exposure to sun (read ultra-violet rays).

Though, generally a mole is a brown or pale spot, but the number, size, color and shape of moles may differ from person to person. Most of the skin moles are benign and a few of them also tend to disappear over time. The best way to rule out any potential problems early is to become familiar with the location and pattern of your moles. Examine your skin carefully on a regular basis. If the border of the mole is blurred or irregular, or if the mole has more than one color shades, or if the mole appears elevated or raised from the skin and is slightly bigger than a normal size, medical intervention is advisable.

The above may indicate the presence of atypical mole syndrome where a person has a large number of moles (100 or more). This may spell potential risk for melanoma or skin cancer. It is always better to consult a dermatologist for recommendations for how to get rid of moles.  In case you observe that you have large moles and they are growing, changing color, you may want to take pictures of moles and their measurements to keep track of changes for a more informed prognosis from your doctor.  The science of medicine offers us many options on how to get rid of moles.

  • Surgery –removing the mole with a scalpel
  • Electro surgery - shaving the mole with a scalpel, and destroying the tissue below with an electric needle
  • Cryosurgery – using liquid nitrogen to destroy the tissue
  • Laser surgery - A physician uses a special laser to destroy the nevi tissue
  • Over- the- counter and prescription products that contain acids that destroy the moles. The effectiveness can be seen over a period of time.