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A common mole is a growth of skin that forms when your pigment cells grow in clusters. These areas tend to be brown in color and vary in shapes and sizes.
Most of us have moles and some of us have quite a few of them! This type of skin growth is extremely common and having multiple moles isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, 10-40 moles on a single person is completely normal especially if you are fair skinned.
At times though certain moles may put you at a higher risk for melanoma, this form of skin cancer commonly appears near an existing mole. If your moles start to grow, itch or bleed reach out to our office for an appointment as this may be an area of concern.
What Types of Moles are a Higher Risk for Melanoma?
- Atypical moles– This type of mole will vary in color and have an odd shape (not round). At times these are larger than a pencils eraser.
- Congenital moles- If you are born with a mole it is considered to be a congenital mole. These moles can range from small to very large. Having a very large congenital mole increases your risk of developing skin cancer.
- Spitz nevus– Often pink, red, black and brown these moles may bleed or have an opening that oozes. Spitz nevus are typically dome shaped and raised.
Treatment for Moles
Luckily most moles don’t require treatment but if you have a mole that could possibly be cancerous, or is bothersome to you there are treatment options. These areas can be either surgically shaved off or cut out and stitched closed. Treatments typically only take one to two office visits to remove.
Contact the experts at Bay Dermatology if a mole looks unusual, grows, changes or if you have any concerns.
1 out of 100
People are Born with A Mole
Before the Age of 20
iIs when Moles Typically Develop
50 or More Moles
Puts you at a Higher Risk for Melanoma
Can a Mole Indicate Melanoma?
The below ABCDE guide is directly from the Mayo Clinic and can help you determine if a mole or a spot may indicate melanoma or other skin cancers:
- A is for asymmetrical shape. One half is unlike the other half.
- B is for border. Look for moles with irregular, notched or scalloped borders.
- C is for color. Look for growths that have changed color, have many colors or have uneven color.
- D is for diameter. Look for new growth in a mole larger than 1/4 inch (about 6 millimeters).
- E is for evolving. Watch for moles that change in size, shape, color or height, especially if part or all of a mole turns black. Moles may also evolve to develop new signs and symptoms, such as itchiness or bleeding.
Cancerous (malignant) moles vary greatly in appearance. Some may show all of the features listed above. Others may have only one or two.