Also known as melancocytic nevus amongst experts, beauty spots are a very common skin imperfection that can appear anywhere on the body.
Basically, beauty spots are pigmented cells that appear darker than the tissue surrounding them. While beauty spots are generally genetic, they can also form when the skin is exposed to UV rays or as a reaction to certain medical substances.
Other causes include changes to hormone levels and even a weak immune system, so they can really show up at any time in your life.
While all skin tones can get beauty spots, people with lighter skin tend to get more of them.
Babies generally aren’t born with beauty spots though – they tend to develop later in life.
Can beauty spots be harmful?
The DOC Clinic is specialised in beauty spot removal and treats patients who have beauty spots that have changed due to excessive exposure to sunlight. In most cases, beauty spots are not harmful but if you notice a change in them, it’s best to seek medical attention.
There are also certain factors that play a role in how harmful beauty spots can be, including:
- Skin colour: Patients with lighter skin tones are more prone to developing malignant beauty spots than those with darker skin
- Quantity: The more beauty spots you have, the higher the chance that they will become malignant
- Location: If you live in a country where you are exposed to intense UV rays on a daily basis, the chances of your beauty spots becoming harmful is higher. Australia is a prime example of a country where residents need to take extra precautions to protect their skin from the sun
Types of skin cancer to be aware of
These are the different types of skin cancer that can occur.
- Melanoma: This type of skin cancer is the result of mutated cells called melanocytes
- Basal cell carcinoma: This type of cancer is associated with a shiny skin surface
- Squamous cell carcinoma: This type of cancer has a much rougher surface once it develops and the skin will shed
How do I know if my beauty spots are harmless?
The ABCDE method is the most effective way to keep a close eye on your beauty spots. If a beauty spot has uneven borders, the colour is unusual and the diameter has increased, it could be a sign of trouble. A beauty spot should never have a diameter that’s larger than 6mm.
Also, if the skin is itching, bleeding or creating a crust, it’s very important to have it checked by a medical professional. Basically, any time your skin or beauty spots change, it’s best to consult with a qualified dermatologist.
However, if your beauty spots don’t look unusual and they aren’t affecting your self-confidence, there really is no reason why you should get them removed. In fact, beauty spots can be a very beautiful addition to your appearance.