Skin | Birthmark Control

Birthmark Control

Birthmarks, colloquially also called moles, are widespread. Practically every human being has at least one. Moles are nothing more than a harmless malformation of the skin and/or mucous membrane. The most common ones are of brown colour and result from an accumulation of pigment-producing cells (melanocytes). A mole can be present at birth, or develop in the course of life. In these secondary, acquired moles, the genetic predisposition on the one hand and the sun exposure of the skin on the other hand play a decisive role.

Moles can present themselves in any form, size and variant and develop at any location on the skin and mucous membranes. In most cases they are harmless.


schultern und erhobenen arme mit ueberkreuzten haenden von weissem mann von hinten in schwarzweiss

Why is the regular examination of our moles important?

Moles play an important role in the development of melanoma. Roughly every third melanoma develops from a pre-existing mole. This emphasizes the importance of having them checked regularly. The ABCDE rule explained below will help you to assess your birthmarks:

ABCDE rule
  • A: Asymmetry
    harmless: regular, symmetrical shape
    suspicious: irregular, asymmetrical shape
  • B: Border
    harmless: regular, clear edges
    suspicious: irregular, blurred edges
  • C: Color
    harmless: uniform colouring
    suspicious: variously coloured, spotted
  • D: Diameter
    harmless: < 5mm
    suspicious: > 5mm
  • E: Evlution
    harmless: no change
    suspicious: change (size, colour, shape, thickness)
oberkoerper von weisser frau mit hochgestreckten armen und bruesten und bauchnabel

What happens during the consultation?

If a melanoma is detected early, this can be decisive for a good prognosis and a successful therapy. The examination of the moles consists of a precise examination of the patient’s entire skin and a detailed assessment of the pigmented lesions using a dermatoscope. The examination takes about 15 minutes, depending on the number of birthmarks.

We recommend every patient to have his skin inspected once a year with a dermatoscopic full-body examination.

The following patients in particular should observe their birthmarks closely and have them examined by a dermatologist once a year:

  • Light skin type, blonde/red hair, blue eyes
  • Many moles
  • Repeated sunburn in childhood or adolescence
  • Melanoma in the family
  • Taking immunosuppressive therapy

If there is a clinical suspicion of a melanoma, it is surgically removed and the tissue is examined microscopically and with special staining by a specialist. If the diagnosis of melanoma is confirmed, further therapy follows the Swiss guidelines for the treatment of melanoma. Melanoma patients are treated in an interdisciplinary manner by a team of specialized doctors consisting of dermatologists, oncologists, radiologists, radiooncologists and surgeons, and therapy decisions are made jointly within the framework of a tumour board. Dr. Allemann and her double specialisation in dermatology and plastic surgery combine two important milestones on the way to your recovery.

Make an appointment today to have your skin professionally examined.

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