MY CHILD HAS SEV­ERAL MOLES ON HIS BODY

Friday - - Beauty -

Q I’m of Ir­ish ori­gin. My son was born with a lot of moles on his body. I also have many moles and a few of these have been re­moved over the last few years, in­clud­ing one grade 7 melanoma. What could be the fu­ture risk of skin can­cer in my son’s case?

A Your son ap­pears to have mul­ti­ple con­gen­i­tal nevi, which can be of var­i­ous shapes and sizes. As with any Cau­casian child he will need to be mon­i­tored an­nu­ally. Due to your past his­tory of hav­ing a ma­lig­nant melanoma he will re­quire even more fre­quent and vig­i­lant mon­i­tor­ing.

I would strongly sug­gest that he be ex­am­ined by an ex­pe­ri­enced der­ma­tol­o­gist, and mole map­ping be per­formed to­gether with To­tal Body Map­ping. This is im­por­tant for early de­tec­tion of ma­lig­nant melanoma, as well as for long-term mon­i­tor­ing of moles. Your son might still get more moles called ac­quired nevi as he grows up. So re­peated fol­low-ups and body map­ping will help de­tect new atyp­i­cal moles. As a gen­eral guide­line, you, his school nurse and PE teach­ers must en­sure that he ob­serves standard sun pro­tec­tion guide­lines. The golden rule of Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide pro­vides the es­sen­tial guide­line for such pro­tec­tion: Slip on cloth­ing, Slop on SPF30 or higher sun­screen, Slap on a hat, Seek shade and Slide on sun­nies. Ir­ish skin falls into Fitz­patrick pho­to­type 1. These in­di­vid­u­als have al­most zero chance of get­ting sun­tanned, and have the high­est chance of get­ting sun­burn. Re­peated acute sun­burn over a pe­riod of time trig­gers changes in mole cells, which could lead to melanoma.

DR IKRAMULLAH AL NASIR is a Dubai-based der­ma­tol­o­gist

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