When do Babies Get Moles and What You Can Do About It
I was visiting a friend a few months ago because I wanted to see his cute baby boy. He is already one year old, and I only got to see him in the photos she sent me. When I held her little boy, I noticed that he had a mole on his left arm. I was surprised since he was only a baby and there was a small spot in his body.
My friend told me that it was nothing severe and she was not worried. When do babies get moles? Knowing when to expect it will give me an idea how to detect safe moles from unsafe ones.
In this post, you will learn more about moles and what you can do to prevent it
Moles – What Are They?
When you see spots on the skin ranging in color, shapes, and sizes, you are looking at a mole. It is a part of the skin where a group of cells is producing more melanin. Moles can vary between raised or flat, oval or round, hair or no hair and small or big. They also differ in colors like black, tan, pink or brown.
Moles can appear in any part of the skin. Some people may only have a few moles while others have dominant numbers of spots.
Causes of Moles:
- Genetic – The genes of our parents contribute to the manifestation of moles in our bodies.
- Exposure to the skin – The more you are exposed to the sun, the more moles you can have in that part of the skin.
- Exposure to chemotherapy.
- Immunosuppression – The immune system is weak thus preventing the body to fight against infections or bacteria.
Benign moles are harmless moles with three features. It has a uniform pigment. There is a regular border around it, and it is symmetrical. Benign moles can get darker or lighter over time. There may be coarse hair growing in them or can become bigger as the skin stretches.
Different Types of Moles:
- Compound Melanocytic Naevi – raised above the skin with hair and light brown color.
- Junctional Melanocytic Naevi – round, flat and brown color.
- Dermal Melanocytic Naevi – raised and pale and with hair sometimes.
Other Types of Moles:
- Blue Naevi – dark blue color
- Halo Naevi – skin lost its color due to the white ring surrounding the mole
Dysplastic or Atypical Naevi – flat or bumpy and slightly bigger than the others. It has an unusual appearance and may be in different colors.
When Do Babies Get Moles?
Moles can be developed as children grow old or can be a birthmark mole called congenital mole. Some moles may already be present at birth and produced during fetal development while other moles appear before they turn 12 months. Some people even develop moles during their adult years. Moles will develop within the first 20 to 30 years of a person’s life.
Are Moles Dangerous?
The existence of moles has always been a cause of concern for many parents. In some cases, moles develop as a symptom of cancer of the skin called Melanoma. It starts with the melanocytes, pigment-producing cells that provide color to the skin, hair, and eyes, and turns into a mole.
However, it is important to note that melanoma is a rare case in moles. The prominent causes of skin melanoma are too much exposure to ultraviolet rays coming from various sources such as the sun and tanning beds.
Melanoma also hardly happens to young children hence there are lower chances of your baby getting skin cancer through his mole. Melanoma typically begins during the teen years and older. However, congenital moles are more at risk of melanoma.
The Dysplastic Naevi is also likely to develop melanoma. These moles are usually in irregular shapes and are larger than a typical pencil eraser. There are uneven parts of the moles such as lighter colors, dark brown centers, and irregular borders.
Risk Factors of Developing Melanoma:
- When children have sun-sensitive phenotypes such as light colored eyes, light hair, and very fair skin.
- When children are closely related to someone with a history of melanoma.
- When there is a genetic disorder such as xeroderma pigmentosum that enables the skin to become more prone to sun damage.
- When the number of moles in the body is more than 100.
What to Watch Out in a Mole?
While moles may be regular spots on the skin, we should always check and watch out for signs that require medical attention. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the ABCDs are ways on how to determine if moles are safe or not:
- A – Asymmetry – See if the one half of the mole no longer matches with the other half.
- B – Border – The borders or edges of the mole appear to be blurred, ragged or notched.
- C – Color – Colors are a mix of brown, black and tan. Normal moles have only one solid color.
- D – Diameter – Measure the size of the mole. It should not be larger than a pencil eraser, which is about 6mm to ¼ inches.
The American Academy of Dermatology notes that any changes in the moles sufficing the above criteria are an indication of a risky mole. You must seek medical attention for examination.
Tips on How to Prevent Moles
Keep your child indoors when the sun is at its highest. During the hot season, the sunrays are too hot between 10 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. Do not allow your baby to stay outside during these times.
Apply sunscreen on the skin. There might be instances when you need to go out during the day so a sunscreen can add a layer of protection to your baby’s skin.
Use an umbrella to cover your child. You may also wear a wide-brimmed hat or a large soft towel to cover his skin from the sun.
Moles may appear on your baby as early as 0 months old. But, there is little chance that it is dangerous for your child.
Keep a watchful eye on the abnormal signs of the mole and always seek your doctor’s help if you have concerns. Detrimental skin conditions rarely happen, but it is best to detect them earlier and find a cure.
When my baby was born, I checked her body to see if any moles or spots are growing. My baby got her first mole when she was already two years old. Still, I continue to check it to see if there are unusual changes.
When did your baby first develop a mole? Share with us your story!