11 Jul Moles Throughout History
When cells in the skin grow in a tight cluster instead of being evenly distributed throughout an area, what we call a mole occurs. Spectrum Dermatology encourages everyone to opt for annual skin screenings because moles are often the first sign of skin cancer. However, the vast majority of moles are benign and completely harmless. In fact, moles (or beauty marks) have fascinated humans for centuries.
Moles and Beauty Marks
In the 1900s, both men and women adorned “mooches.” These velvet pads were designed to stick to the skin and look like moles. They covered up scars, particularly from smallpox, and peaked in popularity when Poland’s Queen Marie Casimire began to wear them. The average person has between 10 – 40 moles on their body, although people with fair skin and those who have been exposed to the sun throughout their life tend to have more moles.
If a person has more than 11 moles on their right arm, they are likely to have at least 100 moles on their body. More moles may appear as we age, and as a slow-moving side effect of sun damage. Moles can also change as we age, sometimes growing larger. This may be a sign of skin cancer, and any changing mole should be checked by a dermatologist immediately. However, other times these changes are benign.
Gamers quickly became enamored with Ms. Pac-Man’s bite-sized signature beauty mark. It was a bit of an homage to Marilyn Monroe’s famous mole, situated on her lower left cheek initially. In later years her mole “reappeared” on her chin.
However, today’s “Marilyn Monroe” piercing is performed on the cheek. Cindy Crawford also followed suit with a mole that helped to make her famous. At 21-years-old, Dita Von Teese tattooed her own nod to Monroe on her left cheek. In 2012, Chanel’s runway featured models sporting black velvet mole face stickers in the designer’s C-logo.
The average width of a mole is ¼-inch. Some are smaller or larger, but anything larger than ¼-inch should be checked and monitored by a dermatologist. Given that 300 million Americans have at least one mole, this is a “trend” that has no choice but to stay.