A birthmark, also known as a nevus, is a benign light to dark colored (sometimes lofty) spot on the skin.
Birthmarks (Naevi), can be present from birth, but most occur between the ages of 3 and 40. Factors that may affect the development of a nevus are hereditary predisposition and childhood sunburns.
In some cases, a nevus can develop malignantly into a melanoma (skin cancer), the shape and color of the nevus become more erratic. Treatment is then necessary.
So it is important to keep an eye on birthmarks. If there is any doubt about a birthmark, it is always advised to have it checked by a doctor. By means of a dermatoscope, the birthmark can be enlarged many times, so that the cells are better imaged and it can be seen whether a birthmark is malignant.
Check a birthmark yourself
A rule has been drawn up to check for a birthmark at home. The so-called ABCDE rule:
Malignant moles are often asymmetrical
Malignant moles often have a jagged edge
Malignant moles often have multiple colors in one spot
Malignant moles often have a larger diameter
Malignant moles often change in shape, color and feel
This rule is not always leading. If there are doubts and / or a birthmark changes, always have this checked by a doctor!
How can you treat birthmarks?
Skin therapists only treat benign moles on referral from a general practitioner or medical specialist. Benign moles can be treated by coagulation.
The skin therapist can play a role in checking birthmarks if there is any doubt about benign / malignancy.