It’s estimated that one out of every 100 babies is born with at least one mole. Was your child one of them? Even if not, developing moles after birth and throughout life is not uncommon. In fact, most people end up with anywhere from 10 to 40 of them!
Just because moles are common, though, doesn’t mean that there’s no cause for concern. If your child has one or more moles, it’s important to monitor them closely. What should you be looking for?
4 Signs That It’s Time to Visit a Dermatologist
It’s true that many moles are harmless and do not result in any serious health issues, even though they may change in size and color as your child grows. However, there are several signs that it’s time for your child’s mole(s) to be checked out by a dermatologist.
1. Your Child Has a Large Mole
Most moles are either circular or oval-shaped and no larger than a pencil’s eraser. So if your child has a mole bigger than that, especially if it’s more than 7 inches diameter, they’ll need to be under the care of a dermatologist.
Larger moles increase your child’s risk of developing a health problem like melanoma, which is a form of skin cancer. While that might sound worrisome, the good news is that melanoma, when caught early, is highly treatable.
2. The Moles Are Many
By the time they reach adulthood, many children have between 12 and 20 moles. How many does your child have? Especially if more than 50, your child should be under a dermatologist’s care. Some children with many moles develop melanoma early in life so, in such a case, you’ll want a professional to keep a watchful eye on your young one.
3. You Notice Rapid Changes
It’s not uncommon for moles to grow as your child does. They may even change color. However, some changes are not normal. For example, a mole may begin changing rapidly, start to look different from the rest of your child’s moles or become painful. If you notice any such changes, get your child’s mole examined immediately to determine the cause. The sooner you do, the faster you can rule out or treat anything potentially dangerous.
4. There’s Unexplained Bleeding
Depending on their location, raised moles can sometimes be snagged, scraped and scratched, which may cause bleeding. Yet, if a mole bleeds without explanation or looks like an open sore, this may be a sign of melanoma and should be promptly evaluated by a professional.
Keep an Eye on Your Child’s Moles
No doubt, you want only the best for your child, including when it comes to their health. If they have one or more moles, be sure to keep an eye on them, making note of if and how they change over time. If you notice any of the five signs above, schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified dermatologists right away at (843) 872-3015!