Moles

Moles

Moles are common. Almost every adult has a few moles. Adults who have light skin often have more moles. They may have 10 to 40 moles on their skin. This is normal.

You should not be overly worried about your moles. But you should know:

  • A type of skin cancer, melanoma, can grow in or near a mole.
  • Caught early and treated, melanoma can be cured.
  • The first sign of melanoma is often a change to a mole — or a new mole on your skin.
  • Checking your skin can help you find melanoma early. A dermatologist can show you how to examine your skin and tell you how often you should check your skin.

Moles in children: What parents should know

Moles on a young child’s skin are generally nothing to worry about. It is normal for new moles to appear during childhood and adolescence. Moles will grow as the child grows. Some moles will darken, and others will lighten. These changes are expected in children and seldom a sign of melanoma — a type of skin cancer that can begin in a mole.

People often want to know how they can tell a mole from a melanoma. Here is a general rule.

Mole
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A mole on your body has these traits:

  • 1 color - Often brown, but a mole can be tan, black, red, pink, blue, skin-toned, or colorless.
  • Round in shape.
  • Flat or slightly raised.
  • Looks the same from month to month.

Your moles may not look alike. Even in the same person, moles can differ in size, shape, or color. Moles can have hair. Some moles will change slowly over time, possibly even disappearing.

Moles can appear anywhere on the skin. Moles develop on the scalp, between the fingers and toes, on the soles and palms, and even under the nails.

Melanoma

If you see a mole or new spot on your skin that has any of the ABCDEs of melanoma, see a dermatologist immediately.

Learn More By Visiting American Academy of Dermatology