What is a birthmark?The term mole, or more specifically mole, is the colloquial term for abnormal growth of skin cells that form pigments.
The name Pigmentnävus indicates the color of the birthmark. The birthmark is a benign, but observable, non-reversible skin irritation. In contrast to the brownish liver spots, red to dark red discolored growths belong to the typical representatives.
Mostly in a nevus are small blood vessels, sebaceous glands and various skin cells, which contributes to the different colorations and expansions. The birthmarks include the nevus cell nevus, the lentigo simplex and the lentigo solaris.
Birthmarks can be both innate and acquired. It is not clear why babies are even born with moles. Many people acquire one or more moles during their lifetime due to very different factors. You may have a genetic predisposition to it.
In addition, it may be possible that a weak or disturbed immune system favors the formation of birthmarks. Environmental influences, such as intensive and permanent irradiation of the skin with UV light as well as a hormonal cause, are also suspected to trigger or accelerate the development of birthmarks. Basically, the development of moles is a complex process that is accompanied by a variety of factors, as the environmental factors also play an important role.
Partially, the type of skin of a person decided whether or not a birthmark develops. In some cases, moles increasingly develop with age and are a form of natural aging of the skin.
Astonishingly, intensive research has shown that women are mostly suffering from liver spots. In men, these skin irritations are rare. Birthmarks represent a concentrated accumulation of pigment cells of the skin. From a large number of these cells, which in some cases proliferate extensively, the nevus cells develop.
Diseases with this symptom
- skin cancer
- age spots
The biggest complication associated with birthmarks is the danger of their degeneration. This includes the development of a birthmark to a melanoma, a malignant tumor of the skin. This tumor is so dangerous because it spreads relatively quickly and thus a complete cure can often no longer be achieved.
Primarily, when such a melanoma is detected, it is attempted to remove it with a certain margin of safety. Possible radiation or chemotherapy may follow. If a degenerate birthmark is discovered early, the chances of a cure are good overall. Without treatment, black skin cancer is always fatal.
The degenerated birthmark spreads early in lymph glands and in the lungs, so threaten in the end complications of multi-organ failure. In general, complications can occur in large birthmarks because they interfere with their nature in everyday life. So you can hang on a large, raised birthmark or accidentally scratch, so that it begins to bleed.
Constant injuries to a birthmark, on the other hand, involve the risk of malignant changes. In order to avoid such complications, large, annoying moles should be regularly presented to the dermatologist. This can decide about the necessity of a removal.
When should you go to the doctor?
A small mole does not have to be a cause for concern. If it changes in color or size, a doctor should be consulted. This is especially advisable if the birthmark is bleeding, itching or wet. Even the size of a birthmark can change.
If necessary, the dermatologist will decide whether the problematic spot should be removed or not. The lab result decides whether it was a benign or a malignant spot. Knowing that a degenerated mole may be a skin cancer, those affected should not delay the visit to the doctor too long. Skin cancer does not hurt at first. He often does not notice at first. Every two years, every adult should go for a free skin cancer screening at the dermatologist. Birthmarks are harmless in themselves. But you can degenerate with age. Precautions and self-observation are therefore advised.
Anyone affected by birthmarks should also consult a doctor if they suffer from a major or disfiguring stroke. Here psychologists or plastic surgeons are the right contact person. Not always can larger moles be removed. However, sufferers may learn to take birthmarks or over-mask camouflage cosmetics. Even then, the moles should be observed and regularly checked by the dermatologist for any changes.
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Treatment & Therapy
The treatment options of birthmarks and in particular of liver spots are usually necessary only from a cosmetic point of view. In addition, moles can also degenerate, increase in size, have a weeping quality, or show conspicuous irregular growth. Then it is important to remove them because a malignant degeneration can be the reason for it.
In addition to the more or less invasive treatment method of surgical removal under local anesthesia in the context of modern cosmetic surgery currently moles are eliminated using a special laser technology. The advantage of an operative removal is that a corresponding laboratory examination of the removed tissue with respect to cancerous skin cells can be made. A biopsy is usually recommended by the dermatologist if signs of cancerous degeneration are confirmed.
In the case of surgical removal, the removal takes place by punching out the corresponding skin area or by using the scalpel. A so-called electrosurgical treatment of birthmarks is based on the removal of skin tissue through the use of high frequency electrical current using a fine wire loop.
In the laser treatment, a ray of light, which corresponds to a specific wavelength and hits the birthmark as heat, ensures the decline of the birthmark. Frequently, subsequent treatments and controls become necessary after successful removal of the mole. Either sutures have to be removed or a second therapy is required.
Outlook & Forecast
A birthmark is usually not a special medical complication and therefore does not need to be treated in most cases. Most moles are benign cancers that have no negative impact on a patient's health. A dermatologist does not need to be consulted in these cases.
A birthmark can be removed by surgery. The treatment with drugs or with creams usually does not take place. Whether a birthmark needs to be removed can be determined by a scan with the dermatologist.
As a rule, a doctor should be consulted whenever the mole changes, bleeds or itches. Here is the increased risk of cancer. This can be treated relatively well in most cases and will not lead to further complications or difficulties if swift action is taken. Only rarely can the cancer spread to other regions, damaging other parts of the body.
You can do that yourself
In a birthmark is usually no self-help possible or necessary. The birthmark is treated by the doctor in only a few cases and is in most cases no danger to the human body dar. However, the patient should always keep the birthmark in view. In strong sunlight, especially in summer, the affected area on the skin should be particularly well creamed. At least a protection factor of 30 should be used here.
If the birthmark changes, a doctor must be consulted immediately. This is usually a benign tumor, which should be removed, however. The changes can occur in shape, color and size. Also, moles should be noted that arise on the skin and were not there before. These too must be treated by a doctor. The treatment itself is painless, the doctor removes the affected main piece without further complications.
Often, hair grows out of a birthmark. These can be carefully removed with scissors or tweezers. However, if the birthmark does not change, no treatment is necessary.