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Skin Sense: That Certain Something

Marilyn Monroe made them a sex symbol. You probably wouldn't recognize Cindy Crawford without hers. But what do you think about the moles and freckles invading your body? Every single person has moles or freckles, sometimes 40 or more. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, moles are caused by an abundance of pigment cells in the skin. Sun exposure does increase and darken them, but the moles also appear where the sun doesn't shine. The good news, almost all moles are normal and stay that way throughout life. But it's important to do regular self checks. And be on the lookout for changes in the shape, size and color of your moles. Dr. Anthony Bonfiglio says, "The ABCD's represent the changes that one is looking for in a mole that may represent risk for that mole being cancerous or becoming a melanoma. The A stands for asymmetry. Where if you look at a mole, if one half does not match the other half that would be a significant change. B stands for border irregularity. C stands for color irregularity, where there could be irregular pigmentation, brown to dark brown to black sometimes even white. D stands for diameter in that these are potentially abnormal moles, which are abnormal growths that would continue to grow." And then there are those freckles. Being called "freckle face" may have been cute when you were a kid, but now, freckles are different from moles in that they're smaller and may fade completely in the winter. Freckles ordinarily are limited to sun exposed areas. If you're absolutely sure you don't love your beauty marks, try over the counter bleaching creams to lighten the freckles you've already earned. Apply tinted moisture or foundation in a shade slightly darker than your natural skin tone. Finally, talk to a dermatologist if you want to try something for your freckles or moles. They could tell you about options like chemical peels, acid or laser removal to help you get rid of that certain something you may not really want.