MY CHILD HAS SEVERAL MOLES ON HIS BODY
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