Itchy mole - is it cancer?

In this material, we will talk in detail about this topic and some related ones, and answer the question "is it dangerous when a mole itches?".
4 reasons - why the mole itches?

Theoretically, the desire to scratch a mole can be caused by the following reasons:
  1. "causeless" itching;
  2. "psychological" itching;
  3. itching caused by a disease;
  4. itching sensation caused by the rebirth of a mole into melanoma.

Now more about each of the reasons.
1) Causeless itching

Probably each of us periodically feels the desire to scratch this or that area of the skin. This can happen up to several times a day, for no apparent reason. For example, a person just scratched his nose - but after that, no thoughts about possible diseases of the nasal cavity (sinusitis, rhinitis) it does not arise. By the way, according to research, a person's nose itches more often when he knows that he is not telling the truth.

It is often not a mole that itches, but a place near it. The same can happen with a mole - it is not she who itches, but the area of skin around or next to her.
2) Psychological itch

We have repeatedly met the following stories on the Internet:
"A mole itched. I got on the Internet with the query "itchy mole". I've read a lot of horror stories from unknown authors, who all write as one that this is a sign of rebirth into melanoma. The mole began to itch 2 times stronger and 3 times more often, until the skin around it reddened. I didn't sleep the night, didn't eat the day, barely made it to the consultation, tell me, am I going to die?"

Concern is caused by information from the Internet about the causes of itching in the mole.

If you smiled now and recognized yourself in this story - try not to read the Internet for 3 days on the topic of melanoma and skin cancer and, perhaps, the mole will itch less.
3) Itching caused by the disease

Unfortunately, a person who has moles is not immune from skin diseases - dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, lichen. One of the signs of these diseases can be itching and they can develop just in the area where the mole is located.

Various skin diseases can cause itching.
If a person has already been diagnosed with any skin diseases, their exacerbation can also lead to the fact that the mole, or the area around it, itches.

4) Itching sensation, when a mole turns into a melanoma

Yes, indeed, one of the signs of malignancy of a mole sounds like "the appearance of a feeling of itching and burning in the nevus area." Here we need to focus on two things:

  1. It's not just about itching, but also about burning. These subjective feelings are difficult to confuse.
  2. However, along with itching, there must be other signs - rapid growth, color change, the appearance of a scalloped edge, etc.

If the mole itches - is it melanoma?

In most cases, no. The causes of itching in the area of moles are distributed as follows: 99.99% - other causes, 0.01% - transformation into melanoma.

What should I do if it still itches?

If the itching has developed against the background of reading about melanoma on the Internet, it is optimal, in our opinion, not to read articles on the Internet for a couple of days. If these unpleasant sensations appeared during the exacerbation of a previously known disease - show your dermatologist. If none of these solutions came up, and the itching is very pronounced and persists, it is worth seeing an oncologist for a face-to-face consultation.

Briefly about the main thing:
Itching alone is EXTREMELY rare as a sign of the transformation of a mole into a melanoma. Most often it is caused by other reasons. In addition, the malignancy of the mole should be accompanied by other symptoms, except for the feeling that the mole is itching.
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List of literature

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8) Risk of melanoma in people with HIV/AIDS in the pre– and post–HAART eras: a systematic review and meta–analysis of cohort studies. Olsen CM, Knight LL, Green AC. PLoS One. 2014 Apr 16;9(4):e95096. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095096. eCollection 2014. Review.

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12) Indoor tanning and risk of melanoma: a case–control study in a highly exposed population.

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