While some people refer to their moles as beauty marks and confidence boosters that enhance their individuality, some of us often feel insecure or ashamed by these permanent blemishes which unintentionally invite ridicule and teasing.
“Moles are growths on the skin, and everyone has them. But a mole becomes a significant source of concern if it grows on the face, and appears prominent and protruding,” says Dr. Terence Tan, Director for Halley Medical Aesthetics. “Then understandably, the mole becomes a source of embarrassment to some people and these growths may have an adverse impact on a person’s self-esteem.”
Moles are usually brown or black in colour. They come about when cells in the skin grow in a cluster instead of being spread throughout the skin. Moles may darken after exposure to the sun, during teenage years, and during pregnancy. Moles can also change slowly over the years or even disappear with time. Some may become raised, change colour, or hair may even start growing on it.
A facial flaw or beauty mark?
People’s perception towards moles has been a mixed bag of emotions since time immemorial. The imperial Chinese believed that moles or “beauty marks” could foretell your fortune and future depending on their placement and hue. The medieval Europeans, however, were less forgiving. Moles were considered evidence of demonic possession and a sign that demons may have been manifesting themselves in human form. In the Renaissance, ladies powdered their face white and hid their blemishes with dots.
Then fast forward to the 21st century. The Internet abounds with tips on how and where to place beauty marks (and even freckles) on the face à la Marilyn Monroe style. We see celebrities embracing their flaws and blemishes, and we envy their confidence. Jennifer Lawrence, for instance, has a constellation of moles from her neck to her chest which she has no issues flaunting during red carpet events.
The reality is that not everyone is lucky like Marilyn Monroe or Jennifer Lawrence. Facial moles can be scarring not just physically but emotionally, and there are some of us who wish to be rid of our moles forever. Yet many hesitate to do so because they are afraid of what others may say about them or for fear of myths surrounding mole removal.
“The mole removal process under the hands of an experienced doctor is safe, and the doctor will advise the most appropriate removal technique depending on the diagnosis,” says Dr. Tan. The doctor may use a laser or surgical excision based on the nature of the mole. The treatment can also be done on the same visit after consultation with the doctor. Never attempt to remove a mole on your own, and it is important to be assessed by a doctor. After all, every mole is unique.
Confidence comes from within
When it comes down to confidence, feeling comfortable in your own skin is most important. It doesn’t matter what you want to call your mole – a beauty mark or facial flaw. If it makes you feel uncomfortable and insecure, it’s got to go.