Moles/ Naevi/ Birthmarks

There are over a thousand entities in dermatology; it is difficult to understand all in just a few pages. We are going to describe a few common skin problems. This is purely educational; if you have a skin disease, please consult your dermatologist.

Mole and naevi are a localized aggregation of naevus cells. They often appear all over our body during the first 2 decades. They are often round or oval in shape, the colour varies from black to brown to a deep blue. The body may have up to a hundred moles in quantity. They are mostly benign.

Some moles are quite shallow in terms of skin depth, we call them junctional naevus; some are located deeper within the skin, and we call them compound naevus. For those that protrude 5mm above the skin surface, we call them intradermal naevus.

We often want to remove moles for 2 reasons. The first being cosmetic, and the second being a belief in destiny. This is especially common amongst the Chinese, who believe that a particular mole on the face may have an impact on their destiny. Carbon dioxide laser is used to ablate the mole, and in most cases, no scar is seen. For suspicious looking mole, we may need to surgically remove for histopathology report. Some beauty salons use corrosive acid to burn off the mole. This often leads to permanent unnecessary scarring.

A Birth mark is a congenital area of pigmentary skin change, it can easily be removed by surgery.

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