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Is a mole just a mole or a ... beauty mark? Sarah Jessica Parker and Cindy Crawford are two celebrities whose faces featured a mole. Parker had her chin mole removed not so long ago. Crawford refused to have hers taken off. Was Marilyn Monroe's "beauty mark" fake or was she born with it? Did it actually move around? Elizabeth Taylor and Scarlett Johannson have facial moles as well. Robert DeNiro is one of the few men sporting a mole. Where do moles come from, and why doesn't everyone have one? Moles may be considered beauty marks by some, but if they start to grow and change colour, this could mean that there is cause for alarm and they should be checked out by a physician.
Moles are created by defects in melanin production. Melanin creates the pigment in our skin. When melanin is placed unevenly in the skin and clusters of it form, this makes dark patches, which are moles, according to Thehealthpedia.com.
Moles, which are related to female hormones, can be one of two types: Deep moles lie in the dermis, whereas the shallow ones are in the epidermis. Moles in the epidermis are lighter than moles that are in the dermis. Because of the connection to female hormones, the chances of a man having a mole is only 10 per cent.
The official name for a mole is nevus, which is the Latin word for "spot." If you are born with a mole it is considered a congenital nevi. Approximately one in 100 babies are born with a mole, which is the congenital nevus variety. If a mole develops later in life it is called an acquired nevi. Moles, or nevi, are made up of a certain type of cell, which distinguishes them from other growths, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.
Congenital Versus Acquired
If you are born with a large congenital nevus, no one knows definitively if this will lead to melanoma (cancer) but it is believed that there is, at a minimum, a 6 per cent chance of this happening. If the congenital nevus is smaller, there is less likelihood that cancer will develop later in life, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.
The colour of the mole will depend upon the density or concentration of pigment in it. Sun exposure, as well as birth control pills and pregnancy, may also play a role in mole formation. Drgoodskin.com reports that a mole can darken over time, due to sun exposure and hormonal changes that occur with pregnancy. Conversely, some moles may lighten in colour over time and actually disappear. Sometimes hair starts sprouting from a mole.
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