3 Ways To Prevent Moles on Your Kids

Protect against sun to reduce moles

Do you ever wish you didn’t have so many moles? It might be too late for you, but it doesn’t have to be for your kids. By reducing their sun exposure, you can reduce the number of moles (also called nevi) they develop.

Sunburns and excess sun exposure are triggers for moles to develop. Having lots of moles can be unsightly and increases their risk of developing melanoma later in life. Reducing excess sun will limit the number of moles they have and reduce their risk for melanoma many years from now.

Many of us grew up without good sunscreens (baby oil and iodine anyone?), but you can do so much more for your children.

  • Apply a water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 (preferably one with zinc or titanium).
  • Reapply every two hours.
  • Cover them up with clothing (which is great for the beach when even the best sunscreens wash off in the surf).

Many of my patients wish they didn’t have so many moles. By insisting that your kids protect themselves now, you’ll prevent them from being one of those patients later.

Photo: Atiretoo, Flickr

Four Self Skin Checks for Wintertime

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Summertime lends itself to showing a lot more skin. There are plenty of opportunities for checking out that mole on your back while you are walking around in spaghetti strap tops. In wintertime, your skin often doesn’t see the light of day, so you might be unaware of a suspicious mole on your back that is fully covered by a heavy sweater. Continue reading “Four Self Skin Checks for Wintertime”

Skin Care Myths: It’s Normal for Moles to Change During Pregnancy

It is a widely held belief that moles or nevi change during pregnancy. However, there is no convincing evidence to support this. There are many changes that happen to a woman’s skin when she is pregnant. She may develop melasma, brown splotches on her face, or linea nigra, brown pigmentation on her belly. She may also develop benign growths such as skin tags or angiomas.

It might be that some of these skin changes are misinterpreted as changes in the size or color of already existing moles. Also, since women’s skin stretches during pregnancy, moles might appear to be growing or spreading. This is not the same as a mole actually changing. According to an new review published in the December 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology:

The best data available … suggest that nevi do not typically change over the course of pregnancy; therefore a changing nevus during pregnancy should undergo biopsy, just as in a nonpregnant patient.

If you are pregnant, or are a physician who has a pregnant patient with a changing mole or nevus, then it should be evaluated by a dermatologist. Though uncommon, a new or changing nevus, can be a melanoma skin cancer.