5 Facts About Moles You Didn’t Know

Today would be my grandmother’s birthday, but she passed away about 10 years ago. She would have turned 93 today. She was the one who taught me the importance of a good skin care.

Her skin care collection products was impressive! In the hallway there was a large makeup table filled with beauty products. And when you walked upstairs you found a cupboard on the left with even more products. Straight ahead was a room with an another cupboard with some more beauty products.

I inherited my collection of skin care products from her. Although my collection is large, it can hardly match hers. What else I inherited from her are her moles. She had many and my uncle joked about them. He called them ‘currants’.

I have them too and they seem to be getting more and more as I get older. Like my grandmother I have to check them once in a while. If they change shape or color I have to show them to the doctor. I had one removed. The mole wasn’t harmful, but the doctor wanted to do it just in case. It hurt incredibly, especially as my anesthetic started to wear off prematurely…

I’m not very happy with my moles and I wish I had less of them. But it’s my grandmother’s birthday and my moles remind me of her. That’s why I have 5 interesting facts about moles that you probably didn’t know!

1. Moles have different colors and sizes

Photo: undefined undefined via Getty Images

Moles are spots on the skin caused by a build-up of benign pigment-forming cells in the skin. They can differ in color and shape. How much pigment your cells produce determines the color of your mole. That’s why a mole can have any color: from pink to dark brown. Sometimes barely visible and sometimes it’s deep brown-black.

Moles also have different sizes. The sizes varies from a few millimeters to palm-sized spots. Sometimes moles feel smooth and sometimes they feel lumpy.

2. Moles are also called ‘birthmarks’

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Moles are also called birthmarks. But newborns often do not have visible birthmarks. Birthmarks don’t become visible on the skin until between the ages of 5 and 25. And they develop with age. Children under the age of 10 often have two or three moles and young adults have between 20 and 30 moles.

However, birthmarks that are present at birth or develop shortly afterwards can be malignant. It can become very large. They also lie deeper in the skin than ordinary moles. The risk of malignant degeneration is greatly increased with these birthmarks, especially when the spot is larger than 20 millimeters.

3. Moles are hereditary

Photo: Odua Images

Moles are hereditary and I already noticed that! If a family member had many moles, chances are you’ll have many moles too. Also people with pale skin and many freckles generally have more moles.

In twins, moles often appear exactly on the same place.

4. Some moles are malignant

Photo: Ivan-balvan via Getty Images

I have my moles checked regularly, because some of them can be malignant. A malignant mole is also called a melanoma and is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. People with more than 50 moles are 4 to 5 times more likely to develop melanoma than people with fewer moles. Once you has had a melanoma, the risk of an another melanoma increased.

Therefor it’s important to detect a melanoma at an early stage and have it removed. Always check your moles!
Visit your doctor when:

  • your mole gets bigger.
  • your mole lies on your skin.
  • your mole changes shape.
  • your mole changes color.
  • your mole starts to itch.
  • your mole starts to hurt.
  • your mole starts to inflame.
  • your mole suddenly starts bleeding.
  • your mole no longer separates properly from your skin.
  • your mole gets a wound.
  • you don’t trust your mole anymore.

5. Chinese Taoist believe that moles have meaning

Photo: Henry & Co via Pexels

According to the Chinese Taoist moles have meaning:

  • Moles that grow on the front of your body for good luck.
  • The moles on the back of your body represent the burden you have to bear.
  • A mole on the right food indicates for fondness to travel.
  • A mole on the chin represent succes.
Old picture of me and my grandmother. Happy birthday grandma!

Front Photo by Pj Go on Unsplash

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