At TheHealthBoard, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Benign melanoma is a very confusing term for many people. Most hear the term melanoma and automatically assume skin cancer or malignant melanoma. It may help to understand that benign melanoma is simply another word for mole or nevi/nevus. Many people have lots of these on their skin, and while they represent the possibility of changing and becoming malignant, they may never do so.
Moles or benign melanoma examples represent clusters of pigment cells known as melanocytes. When these cells group together, they produce round or oval-shaped, brown, black or sometimes pink spots on the skin; color is usually even through the mole. These can be virtually no larger than the head of a pin, or they can be the size of a fingertip or greater.
Differences may also exist in the texture. Feeling a mole may be no different than feeling the rest of the skin, or alternately people might notice the mole is higher in level than the skin. These differences are considered normal. Other characteristics of this condition are that the mole is all one level, that it is symmetrical and that it doesn’t appear to be growing.
It’s important to understand definition of benign melanoma. This makes it possible to compare benign and malignant forms of melanoma. Especially when people have fair skin and many moles, they are at greater risk for this deadly form of skin cancer. One important feature of skin care is watching moles and the rest of the skin for changes suggesting a malignant melanoma might be present.
Unlike the benign melanoma, the borders of the malignant mole are characterized as being asymmetrical and their edges may not be smooth. The mole may also exhibit rapid growth. Malignant melanoma could be suspect if the mole keeps breaking open and bleeding, and it could have several colors instead of a single color. Any mole larger than a fingertip is usually suspect, though some people have very large moles that are clearly benign.
Should any of these signs occur in one or more moles the best thing to do is see a family doctor or dermatologist. They may take a sampling of the mole or complete remove the surface layers to test it for malignancy. Under many circumstances, tests fortunately come back with a diagnosis of benign melanoma. Many dermatologists recommend yearly exams for people who have a significant number of moles. This is a good way to determine if there have been changes throughout the year that would require testing.
Of course, another preventative for people is to be very careful about sun exposure. A benign melanoma may easily become a malignant melanoma when people don’t use sunscreen regularly and wear protective clothing in the sun. This skin cancer is absolutely linked to damage to the skin, as caused by sun exposure.