Moles & Freckles on Children

May 22, 2012 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment

What are freckles & moles?

According to the Mayo Clinic, freckles & moles are pigmented spots on the skin. People aren’t born with freckles. They develop in childhood and in later years as a result of repeated sun exposure. Freckles occur primarily in sun-exposed areas such as the nose and shoulders. It’s thought that freckling is a protective mechanism of the skin. Freckles are especially common in people with fair complexions.

Moles are growths on the skin that are usually brown or black. Moles can appear anywhere on the skin, alone or in groups.

Most moles appear in early childhood and during the first 30 years of a person’s life. It is normal to have between 10-40 moles by adulthood.

What should I look for when examining moles as an adult?

The  Cleveland Clinic suggests, the following ABCDEs are important signs of moles that could be cancerous. If a mole displays any of the signs listed below, have it checked immediately by a dermatologist:

  • Asymmetry—One half of the mole does not match the other half.
  • Border—The border or edges of the mole are ragged, blurred, or irregular.
  • Color—The mole has different colors, or it has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red.
  • Diameter—The diameter of the mole is larger than the pencil eraser.
  • Elevation/Evolution—The mole appears elevated (raised from the skin); or are the moles changing

If you or your child has freckles, wear that sunhat!

According to the University of Maryland,  Freckles typically appear in children on sun-exposed areas and are usually evenly brown or tan. The more freckles a person develops as a child, the greater the risk for melanoma in adulthood. So make sure you have a sunhat handy for those children with fair skin and specially freckles.

Web-Med states, since freckles are almost always harmless, there really is no need to treat them. As with many skin conditions, it’s best to avoid the sun as much as possible. This is especially important because people who freckle easily (for example, lighter-skinned people) are more likely to develop skin cancer later in life.

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