• Momen Rbeihat

Beauty Marks: Symbols of Charm that May Harm

Beauty marks are well known for giving their bearers allure and glamor, but these marks may also become malignant, turning into alarming tumors.

Beauty marks are formed from pigment fabrication by cells in your skin. The rationale that lies behind the way they are made varies, but the main factors include genes, environment, exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet light, and sensitivity to some medical substances [1].

A beauty mark, also known as a mole, is found on all humans, regardless of their skin color or age. The average number of moles on each person is 5-20, and differ in their shape, color gradient, location, and size [2]. For each person, the distribution, color, and size of these moles may determine whether they are considered attractive, and therefore ‘beauty marks,’ or if they are just annoying birthmarks which they wish to remove. This decision is taken differently by everyone, as beauty standards vary among human cultures.

Having moles scattered all over your body may be more than just an aesthetic effect, because they play an important role in guarding you against the wreck of time. A study by a group of scientists at King’s College London found that women with greater than 100 moles distributed across their bodies also possessed stronger bones and were accordingly less likely to suffer from brittle bone diseases like osteoporosis. They were half as likely to suffer from these diseases as women who had less than 25 moles on their bodies. This study included 1,200 identical and non-identical female twins, with age ranges of 18-79 [3]. The study also found out that women with more moles are less prone to age quickly and have younger and more wrinkle-free skin for a longer period of time. This opened the door for researchers to conduct more studies about correlations between moles and general health [3].

Beauty also can have a price and having many of these beauty marks may potentially cause a huge fine. A study by Bhatt et al. suggests there is a correlation between an increased number of moles and an increased risk of melanoma [4]. Melanoma is unfortunately a fatal malignancy: although more cases are being recorded every year, the mortality rate is approaching a stabilization point in different countries [5]. This can be credited to early detection and the development of new therapeutic modalities that are shown to be effective in treating melanoma [6].

Early detection, as mentioned, is an important factor in fighting the high fatality rates of melanoma. This can be achieved by being vigilant, by early recognition of any suspicious changes in your moles, or by the appearance of new moles. Types of changes may include growth in the mole’s size, as well as changes in its shape or color, or the mole bleeding or becoming crusty, itchy, or sore. A simple way to differentiate a normal mole from a suspicious one is by following the ABCDE approach: A stands for asymmetry, because melanoma is usually asymmetric and poses an irregular shape; B stands for border, because melanoma often has jagged border; C stands for color, as melanoma may exhibit different colors; D stands for diameter, as the diameter of a melanoma may grow beyond 6mm; and E stands for enlargement/elevation, which may include growth outwards or upwards of the mole [7].

Though many feels that power has been granted by these moles, we can conclude that this power is nothing but a double-edged sword. Moles may be signs of beauty, of younger skin, and of stronger bones, but some of them may also be devastating to your health and become a malignant tumor that leads to death. Therefore, always remember to inspect your moles, and to inform your doctor of any changes that may occur.


Moles; Mole; Beauty Marks; Beauty Mark; Skin; Melanoma


  1. https://www.dw.com/en/when-beauty-spots-turn-dangerous/a-18451459

  2. Walter, F. M., Humphrys, E., Tso, S., Johnson, M., & Cohn, S. (2010). Patient understanding of moles and skin cancer, and factors influencing presentation in primary care: A qualitative study. BMC Family Practice, 11(1). doi:10.1186/1471-2296-11-62

  3. https://www.news.com.au/world/people-with-moles-less-prone-to-ageing/news-story/fba5af55b643f68058fc332a715d9983?sv=1c68396878e222dd926ed55cf4dbc5db

  4. Bhatt, M., Nabatian, A., Kriegel, D., & Khorasani, H. (2016). Does an increased number of moles correlate to a higher risk of melanoma? Melanoma Management, 3(2), 85-87. doi:10.2217/mmt-2016-0001

  5. Garbe, C., & Leiter, U. (2009). Melanoma epidemiology and trends. Clinics in Dermatology, 27(1), 3-9. doi:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2008.09.001

  6. Nikolaou, V., & Stratigos, A. (2014). Emerging trends in the epidemiology of melanoma. British Journal of Dermatology, 170(1), 11-19. doi:10.1111/bjd.12492

  7. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/melanoma-skin-cancer/symptoms/

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