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Christy Hammond
Christy Hammond, Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1529
Experience:  I have a B.S.N and more than 10 years of training and experience in patient care and education
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Tiny moles under the breast should I be concerned

Resolved Question:

I have started get them in the last year I'm 48 years old, also I'm getting skin tacts on different areas of the body
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Christy Hammond replied 11 years ago.

Most people have between 10 and 40 moles, although the number you have may change throughout life. New moles can appear into mid-adulthood, and because moles last about 50 years, some moles may disappear as you age.

The great majority of moles are harmless, but in rare cases, moles may become cancerous. Monitoring moles and other pigmented patches is an important step in the diagnosis of skin cancer, especially malignant melanoma. Although not all melanomas develop from pre-existing moles, many begin in or near a mole or other dark spot on the skin.

The typical mole is a plain, brown spot, but moles come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. They can be flesh-colored, reddish-brown, medium to dark brown, or blue; vary in shape from oval to round, and be as small as a pinhead or large enough to cover an entire limb.

The surface of a mole can be smooth or wrinkled, flat or raised. Sometimes a mole may start out flat and brown and later become slightly raised and lighter in color. Some may become raised enough that they form a small stalk and are eventually rubbed off. Others may simply disappear.

Although most moles develop by age 20, they can continue to appear until midlife. There are also certain times in your life when moles are more apt to change; for example, they're likely to become darker, larger and more numerous because of hormonal changes during adolescence and pregnancy and with the use of birth control pills.

If a new mole appears past age 20, see your doctor. These signs and symptoms may indicate a medical concern:

Itching or burning
Oozing or bleeding
Scaly or crusty
Suddenly different in size, shape, color or elevation. If you're concerned about any mole, see your doctor or ask for a referral to a dermatologist.

You may choose to make a skin examination a regular part of your preventive medical care. Talk to your doctor about a schedule that's appropriate for you. A general guideline is every three years for people ages 20 to 39, and annually for people age 40 or older.

Your doctor will examine your skin from head to toe, including your scalp, your palms, the soles of your feet and the skin between your buttocks. If your doctor suspects that a mole may be cancerous, he or she may take a sample of the tissue (biopsy) and submit the biopsy for microscopic examination.

In addition to periodically checking your moles, you can take protective measures to protect yourself from cancerous changes:

Avoid peak sun times. It's best to avoid overexposure to the sun, but if you must be out of doors, try to stay out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when ultraviolet rays are most intense.
Use sunscreen. Twenty to 30 minutes before going outdoors, apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Reapply every two hours, especially if you're swimming or involved in vigorous activities. Some sunscreens contain substances that block both types of ultraviolet rays, ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB).

Skin tags can occur almost anywhere there is skin. However, favorite areas for tags are the eyelids, neck, armpits (axillae), upper chest, and groin.

They are much more common with age beginning in middle age and they tend to be somewhat more prevalent in women than men. They can be removed for cosmetic reasons or if they are in an irritating area. They do not require intervention otherwise.

The short answer is see your Dermatologist to identify and monitor and changes.

A yearly exam may be advisable.

Good luck to you,

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