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Moles

Jonah Thomas JEThomas at ix.netcom.com
Wed Aug 9 21:05:15 EST 1995


In <3vk0l5$lig at laplaza.taos.nm.us> gwzopf at laplaza.taos.nm.us (George W. 
Zopf) writes: 

>Is the pattern of moles--congenital naevi--genetically determined?
>If not, how is it determined?  Is it determined?

I'm sure there's a genetic component.  Some people get many more moles
than others.

For myself, there is an environmental component -- some sorts of skin
damage lead to moles.

I have a series of six very small nevi on my left thigh that are in a
straight line, one about every three cm.  About 15 years ago I had a
flea under my jeans there.  Each bite turned red, scabbed over, and
developed a mole over about 3 weeks.  At the fifth one I scratched at
the flea.  That one developed a much larger mole than the others.
(However, 2 months ago a dermatologist said that one was a keratosis
and not a nevus at all.  Several precious dermatologists had called it
a nevus.)

When I first took up caving, it took some experience to learn to avoid
scrapes.  In one low passage I remembered to keep my head down (so the
hard hat wouldn't scrape the ceiling) but didn't keep my back low
enough.  I scraped several vertebrae on the grainy limestone top.
Later, after I got home and washed, I saw in a mirror that I had
scraped off the top layer of skin in a few spots.  Again, they scabbed
over and grew out as moles.  One precisely over each vertebra, a little
bit proximal where the skin had rolled before catching.

At about that time I lifted my back a little too far while crawling
under some stalactites.  They were sharp and made little circular
punches about 4-5 mm.  Again, these grew out as moles.

One mole grew out of an appendectomy scar.  The scar was 7 cm long.
The mole started small and grew slowly, it's now about 7 mm in diameter
and the center is no longer on the scar -- it grew off the scar only on
one side.

I have many moles that I don't have any story about.  And I've gotten
various skin injuries that didn't lead to moles.  So this is only
anecdotal evidence, and could possibly be wrong.  Still, I'm convinced
that sometimes I get moles at the precise spot that I get some sort of
skin injury, immediately as the injury heals.




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