If your child has moles it is important to start getting them monitored for changes now.
When scheduling my annual skin screening I decided to make an appointment for my two sons. My sons 6 and 10 (at the time) had a few moles I had noticed. Knowing a dermatologist looks for changes over time in a mole, I felt they needed to start having them monitored. At age 36 and Irish descent, I am freckly, have lots of moles, and way too tan for my natural skin tone. Of course I was expecting to be scolded for this… and I was. Luckily I had nothing that needed to be biopsied. Second to see the doctor was my 6 year old with fair skin and several dark moles, and he too was in the clear. Last went my 10 year old, who has dark olive skin, and by far (most would agree) the ‘nicest’ skin in the family – never burning, and very few moles or freckles. After examining his back Doctor Martin identified a mole that was around 6mm in diameter, irregular in shape and a few different tones of dark brown to black. He felt these irregularities were a concern – enough to biopsy!
A few days later the phone call I received was shocking. The biopsy came back positive for cells that were precursors to melanoma! Doctor Martin said that if this had been left unnoticed it would have become melanoma (skin cancer) by the time he was a teenager! He currently has 7 stitches where the mole used to be, and although he was terrified at the idea of the excision he did amazing. I wanted to share this story to let you know that if your child has moles it is important to start getting them monitored for changes now and to remind you that rash-guards and sun screen for those long days of surf, sand, and sun are a must. It could save your child’s life!
Image Credit: mauimama