Moles and freckles are little spots that can appear anywhere on your skin. They are usually darker than surrounding skin and can appear in various shapes and sizes. Moles may be raised or completely flat while freckles are almost always flat. Moles and freckles are medically defined as groups of pigments on the skin.
Studies have shown that moles are more common in people prone to freckles. People with light complexions are more susceptible to moles and freckles on their skin. Although sun avoidance is the most effective way to reduce the formation of moles and freckles, it is almost impossible to stay out of the sun permanently. The next best thing is to protect yourself from the sun by applying sufficient sunscreen to suppress the appearance of moles and freckles.
If your mole has any of the A,B,C,D,Es of melanoma (a type skin cancer), seek a doctor’s opinion immediately:
Asymmetry: Your mole is uniform and one half is different from the other half
Border: The borders of the mole not smooth and well-defined but instead are irregular, blurred, or jagged
Colour: Your mole has more than one colour (e.g. brown, tan, black)
Diameter: Your mole is larger than 6mm
Evolving: Your mole has changed over time in size, shape, colour
Although moles and freckles are generally not harmful, they can be unsightly. Fortunately, there are treatments that are convenient to safely and effectively remove moles and freckles. Medical aesthetic doctors generally remove moles and freckles with lasers. Depending on the area and size of the moles, they can be removed in one session. Sometimes, a follow-up session is required to remove the residual pigments that are left behind from the first treatment.
Know Your Problems
- Most moles appear early in life, but some can appear in adulthood as well.
- Most moles are harmless.
- Smaller moles can be removed with an ablative laser. Repeated sessions may be required.
- Larger moles may require surgical excision.