Lately, when I look in the mirror, I feel like I’m looking at a mole hill. The amount of moles on my face and body have exponentially exploded since I’ve gotten older.
When I was in my teens, a dark regular mole on your cheek was considered to be very attractive. Who didn’t want a beauty mole like Elizabeth Taylor had on her lower right cheek? So I relished mine, thinking it was the mark of beauty.
Moles are one of the most common skin conditions in the world. However, I notice more moles on darker complexions especially elderly African Americans. Anyone seen actor Morgan Freeman lately? Sorry Morgan, but you definitely have a mole hill.
After being homebound for a few days from the recent record-setting blizzard that dumped nearly 3 feet of snow, I ventured out for an overdue dermatology appointment that I scheduled back in November. It was time to have my moles examined by a specialist to rule out skin cancer or a skin abnormality.
It’s been three years since I visited my dermatologist. Her office stopped accepting my insurance, halting my appointments. Thankfully, she accepts my insurance again. Once in the examining room, she explained the differences between moles and skin tags, including terminology like melanoma, squamous, and hyper-pigmented dots. Melanoma, if not caught early can be fatal. Squamous or hyper-pigmented dots are not as deadly, but can be fatal. The examination included looking at every lesion or mole to make sure that they weren’t changing color or shape.
My facial moles were ruled dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN), a form of seborrheic keratosis, the most common noncancerous skin growth in older adults. Or, just regular moles. DPN is common among those of African descent and affects up to 35% of black people in the United States. They tend to be inherited. They are always benign, never lead to skin cancer, and are not harmful. I chose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons.
But prior to visiting my dermatologist, I did indulge in some natural remedies that included using castor oil and apple cider vinegar, finding some success with reducing the size of many of the moles.
Additionally, she diagnosed me with skin tags on my neck and under my arm pits, which had promptly removed. However, there are natural remedies to consider as pictured below.
I hope this post serves as reminder about one’s skin being the largest organ that should periodically be checked and protected with SPF 24/7.
Since having my moles examined, I now know a facial mole is not a mark of beauty after all. Ladies and the men that read this post, have those skin lesions checked out.
Have a fabulous week!