Part I Melanoma:
What can cause a mole to change besides skin cancer? We've been alarmed by the media when it comes to changing moles: See your doctor immediately should you have a changing mole to rule out skin cancer. The words changing mole can dredge up the deepest fear in many people: skin cancer. Melanoma skin cancer kills about 9,000 Americans yearly. Skin cancer can also disfigure.
When 1,000 people have a changing mole, how many will have skin cancer? If you have a changing mole, you should immediately make an appointment with a dermatologist. What can cause a mole to change besides skin cancer?
Causes of a changing mole that aren't skin cancer:
Follicular irritation. Some moles have a hair growing out of them. If the follicle, from which the hair grows, becomes irritated, this can cause the top layer of the mole to flake off. The entire layer could be gone in under two weeks: a rapidly changing mole that can scare the pants off of anyone conscious of skin cancer.
Lighting and shadows. It's amazing how lighting-changes can create the illusion of a changing mole. Make sure that you always check your moles in the exact same location of the house, and always under the same lighting conditions. This means the same number of lights are used that shine above the sink mirror, for instance, or the dimmer switch is always on all the way. The same time of day is best, and make sure that light from a window is the same (i.e., curtains always drawn, or shade always up, etc.) Variations in lighting can make a mole look like it's changing, in that it will appear lighter or darker than usual, due to lighting fluctuations.
A light source above can also create illusion that the top-half of the mole's border has developed a white outline. This is something you may have never noticed before, and because of that, the mole is "changing" and you fear skin cancer. Skin cancer can turn parts of a mole white. When examining, examine from the same angles. A change in angle can result in the appearance of a partially white border, created by a bright light source above.
Skin cancer can be disfiguring, not to mention deadly, with melanoma skin cancer killing about 9,000 Americans annually. For actual physical changes, other than follicular irritation or perceived changes ….
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