How to evaluate moles and why it should be repeated annually

During the summer, we all spend a lot of time outside, outdoors, but this way we expose our skin to a real “sunbathing” every day. In contrast to the joy of the holidays and leisure time, prolonged exposure to the sun, especially people with high levels of moles, carries with it a significantly higher risk of developing skin conditions, the most serious of which is melanoma. , the most aggressive type of skin cancer. The development of melanoma is favored by exposure to the sun, without physical or chemical protection, especially in people with light skin, who have multiple moles and pigment spots.

Pigment moles or nevi usually occur at birth or in childhood and are formed from the spontaneous agglomeration of cells that produce the skin-colored pigment, melanocytes. Harmless, benign formations, moles can appear during life, after childhood. Worrying situations are when moles begin to grow in size, change color, and turn into cancerous lesions.

It is important to know that inevitably, over the years, pigmented nevi undergo subtle, microscopic transformations that are very difficult to observe with the naked eye. Therefore, it is recommended to monitor them periodically, once a year, through a very simple method of surface microscopy, called dermatoscopy.

Dermatoscopy is a modern method of mapping pigment nevi, used by dermatologists around the world to assess in detail the current risk and the evolution of suspicious skin lesions. Specifically, with the help of this modern investigation, the doctor photographs and captures the location of each mole, while calculating the risk of the lesion being malignant. At subsequent evaluations, by comparison with the previous evaluation, the doctor can identify any newly appeared lesion with great precision. Through computerized dermatoscopythe detailed images of the lesions are stored, so that, by comparison with the images of the same mole obtained previously, the doctor can analyze the differences in shape, color or size and can identify in early stages the nevi with high risk of malignant transformation.

Dermatoscopy is a completely non-invasive, painless and very easy method for the patient. The duration of the investigation is directly proportional to the number of lesions on the skin and is usually between 20 and 30 minutes.

Dermatologists recommend performing dermatoscopy at least once a year. People with an increased number of suspicious moles at the initial assessment should repeat the investigation at regular intervals of up to 3 months. A family history of melanoma, the existence of pigmented nevi with a high risk of transformation, in areas exposed to the sun, shows clear indications of surgical excision and histopathological examination. The indication must be determined by the dermatologist.

Physical photoprotection, through clothing, and chemical photoprotection, by applying creams that block the sun’s aggression on pigment nevi, are the best known ways to prevent skin cancer. However, most dermatologists emphasize the importance of dermatoscopic monitoring of moles for the prevention and early diagnosis of melanoma.

Schedule yourself at Sanad for a dermatology consultation and for computerized dermatoscopy performed with the help of advanced technology FotoFinder!

Dermatoscopic mapping of moles is the safest way to make sure you are not at risk of developing skin cancer.

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