We were asked to remove moles from the faces of 2 Chinese children whose parents were born in mainland China. It was only after learning about their belief in Chinese mole reading did we understand their insistence. According to this belief, mole position, shape, size, and color have fortune-telling weight. The Thai of Chinese descent call this type of fortune-telling Ngao Heng. Report of Cases Report of Cases Case 1 A 12-year-old Chinese boy presented with an asymptomatic acquired nevus on his right nasolabial fold (Figure 1). Dermoscopy revealed a brown, bland-appearing nevocellular nevus with a globular pattern. The boy's father insisted on having the nevus removed even after he was assured that it was not necessary and the outlines of the scar were drawn on the boy's face. View LargeDownload Figure 1. A 12-year-old Chinese boy with a nevocellular nevus on the right nasolabial fold. Report of Cases Case 2 A 7-year-old Chinese girl (unrelated to the first patient) presented with a similar nevus on her cheek, just lateral to the nasolabial fold. Gross and dermoscopic examination revealed that the nevus was approximately 4 mm in diameter, bland in color, and normal in shape. The girl's mother insisted on removal. No amount of reassurance as to the benign nature of the nevus could dissuade her. Comment Comment Chinese face and body mole reading is an ancient philosophy, recorded as early as 700 BC.1 Other beliefs revolve around the shape and size of various facial parts. For example, if a person's ears stick out, they are called “wind-catching ears” and are equated to a self-serving personality. If a person has a prominent rounded nose, it means that he or she lacks support from other people. And if a person has a receding chin, it means that he or she will be poor.1 Comment Chinese mole reading teaches that mole placement reflects on character and/or personality traits2 (Figure 2). Mole placement can predict everything from good luck to bad luck, a healthy life vs a sickly life, success in business and marriage, and compatibility with people at home and work to the many fears, phobias, and wishes of everyday life.3 Most people who follow Chinese mole reading check the “meaning” before making a decision about removal. Although removing the mole might not change the person's fate, it is often done to make the person feel better and to boost his or her confidence. View LargeDownload Figure 2. A facial mole–reading map (our own) based on http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/FaceMoleReading.htm. Our cases could be interpreted as “Tend to have problems related to diet or food,” “Tend to have foot problems,” and/or “Need to prevent water-related accidents.” Comment In our cases, the readings were “Tend to have problems related to diet or food,” “Tend to have foot problems,” and/or “Need to prevent water-related accidents.” The philosophy of fortune-telling according to the location, color, and number of moles has been extensively written about and can be found in many sources. Currently, there are numerous Web sites for Chinese face and body mole predictions,2,3 such as http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/FaceMoleReading.htm and http://www.weirdasianews.com/2010/01/11 /chinese-face-readers-observe-moles/. Comment In conclusion, Asians brought up with Chinese physiognomy fortune-telling beliefs have dispersed all over the world. Many of them know and follow these beliefs. Sensitivity to these hidden agenda will make us all better physicians. Back to top Article Information Correspondence: Dr Shwayder, Department of Dermatology, Henry Ford Hospital, 3031 W Grand Blvd, Ste 800, Detroit, MI 48202 (TShwayd1@hfhs.org). Author Contributions: Drs Tempark and Shwayder had full access to all the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Financial Disclosure: None reported. References 1. Wong FT, Soo G, Ng WP, van Hasselt CA, Tong MC. Implications of Chinese face reading on the aesthetic sense. Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2010;12(4):218-22120644224PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref 2. Jadhav A. Meanings of moles on body. Buzzle.com Web site. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/meaning-of-moles-on-body.html. Accessed December 25, 2011 3. Shinigami . Chinese face readers observe moles. All Things Now Web site. http://www.allthingsnow.com/week/humor/shared/6316019/Chinese-Face-Readers-Observe-Moles. Accessed December 25, 2011
Archives of Dermatology – American Medical Association
Published: Jun 1, 2012
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