Moles : Why do we have them? – A theory

Patient: “Doctor, why do we get moles in the first place?”

Physician: “No one has the foggiest notion why God gave us moles on our skin … and that’s the honest truth.”

There are theories however – the most prominent being that the extra melanin produced in the moles’ melanocytes might help to protect against UV radiation. Not everyone agrees though – take for example Professor Craig Burkhart and colleague Professor Craig Burkhart who explain their ‘Mole Theory’ in the International Journal of Dermatology, 44, 340–342. They point out that in humans, extra deposits of melanin are often found in bodily areas where the sun very rarely (if ever) shines. Moreover, many nocturnal animals, “are highly melanized on their exterior surface.” In light of this the team offer another hypothesis :

“ […] melanocytes are not simply pigment-producing cells, but produce substances with a range of biological functions, including structural strengthening by cross-linking proteins, antimicrobial defense, photon shielding, and chemoprotection. Thus, God gave us melanocytic and moles to provide several physiologically significant functions, including the provision of communicatory links with several different systems, e.g. the skin, central nervous system, and immune/ inflammatory responses.”

See: ‘The mole theory: primary function of melanocytes and melanin may be antimicrobial defense and immunomodulation (not solar protection)’

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