Moles and Birthmarks

What are birthmarks? A birthmark is an irregularity found on the skin that usually appears at birth or shortly after birth, usually within one month.

What causes birthmarks?
A birthmark is caused by an excess amount of keratinocytes, fibroblasts, smooth muscle, blood vessels, or melanocytes.

Types of birthmarks:
Scientists can classify birthmarks into two different types: pigmented and vascular (red)
Pigmented birthmarks compose of three different types, which include cogenital melanocytic nevus (a type of mole), cafe au lait spot, and a Mongolian spot. Pigmented birthmarks are caused by excess skin pigment cells.

images-1.jpg Mongolian Spot

images-3.jpg Cafe au lait spot
congenitalMelanocyticNevus_33233_lg.jpgCogenital melanocytic nevus

Vascular birthmarks include Stork Bites (Nervus flammeus nuchae), Strawberry Marks (Hemangioma), and Port-Wine Stains (Nervus flammeus). Vascular birthmrks are caused by increased blood vessels.

DSC04448(2).jpgStork Bite (Nervus flammeus nuchae)

DSC05159.JPGStrawberry Mark (Hemangioma)

100_4050.JPG Port-Wine Stain (Nervs flammeus)

Treatment for birthmarks:
Treatement for birthmarks is usually unnessicary, as most birthmarks are harmless and do not cause any serious medical problems. Pigmented birthmarks, in some cases, can resolve themselves on their own. However, some vascular birthmarks may require removal or reduction based on cosmetic reasons. Removal techniques for birthmarks include steroids, dermatological lasers to reduce color/size, or dermatologic surgery.


What is a mole? A mole is a small, usually congenital (of or containing to a condition present at birth) spot or blemish on the human skin, usually of a dark color, slightly elevated, and sometimes hairy; nevus. Some different types include dyplastic nevi, atypical moles, congenital moles(small and large), atypical nevi, benign, and red blood moles.

Moles are caused when skin cells called melanocytes grow abnormally in clusters, as opposed to being spread evenly throughout the skin. This can happen because of genetics, gender (females more likely to develop moles because of their hormones. Explains why moles can sometimes appear during pregancy), and sun exposure.

Types of Moles:

Red Blood Moles: Melanocytes cluster close together to form red moles, form deeper down in skin than brown/black. Usually, red moles are no more malignant than brown or black moles.

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Brown/Black: Once again, melanocytes cluster together to form black/brown moles. Melanin more visible in brown/black, usually closer to surface of skin.

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Congenital Mole
Congenital Mole

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Cures/Treatments of Moles:

Moles can be removed in several ways, but the three most common ways:

1. Surgical removal
2. Laser removal
3. Use of creams/skin products such as DermaTend (Home remedy)

Importance of monitoring:

Keeping track of the size and number of moles o

n your body can prove worthy, as you might just detect early signs of skin cancer that are normally curable. There are several steps that can be taken to monitor mole changes that could be signs of cancer:

>>> Watch for moles that grow in size from the original
>>> Watch for clusters of moles, increasing number from original on body
>>> Use the A-B-C-D-E method
>>> Most importantly, limit sun exposure to moles. This is the best preventative measure of skin cancer!!

Cancerous/Malignant Moles:

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