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June 2012

Chinese Fortune-Telling Based on Face and Body Mole Positions: A Hidden Agenda Regarding Mole Removal

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan. Dr Tempark is now with the Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Arch Dermatol. 2012;148(6):772-773. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2012.949

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.

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.

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