Moles Symptoms, Prevention, Causes And Treatment


A mole is an ordinary skin development (nevi). They are typically caused by clusters of pigment-forming cells and appear as small, dark brown patches (melanocytes). Most people have 10 to 40 moles, which typically develop during childhood and adolescence and may change or vanish over time.

Most moles are not dangerous. It is important to keep an eye out for changes in your moles and other pigmented spots if you want to detect skin cancer, especially malignant melanoma.


Moles develop when melanocytes, skin cells, cluster together. Melanocytes may often be found throughout the skin. The natural pigment that gives skin its colour, melanin, is produced by them.

How to check if you have Moles?

Schedule a visit with your doctor if a mole change grows, or otherwise seems out of the ordinary.


An ordinary mole is a little brown speck. Yet, moles exist in a variety of hues, forms, and sizes:

Texture and colour. Mole colours include brown, tan, black, blue, red, and pink. They might be elevated, flat, wrinkled, or smooth. They could be covered in hair.

Shape. Moles tend to be oval or circular.

Size. Moles typically have a diameter of smaller than 1/4 inch, or 6 millimetres, about the size of a pencil rubber. Congenital nevi, or birthmarks, can be larger than typical and cover a portion of the face, chest, or limb.

Moles can appear anywhere on your body, including in the crevices between your fingers and toes, under your nails, on your scalp, and in the armpits. The typical individual has between 10 and 40 moles. At age 50, many of these start to manifest.

Over time, moles may alter or disappear. They might get bigger and darker as a result of hormonal changes throughout puberty and pregnancy.

Often termed flesh moles, clusters of brown spots around the eyes, cheeks, and nose are really dermatoses papulosa nigra, a kind of seborrheic keratosis rather than collections of pigment-forming cells (nevi). 

Abnormal lesions that might be melanoma

If a mole varies in color, form, size, or height, has uneven borders, is asymmetrical in shape, or has any of these characteristics, it may be an indication of skin cancer. This ABCDE chart might assist you in recalling what

should be aware of:

A represents a skewed form. The two halves are not the same in any way.

A border is a B. Look out for moles that have irregular, notched, or scalloped borders.

Colour begins with C. Check for growths whose colour has altered, has several hues, or has an uneven distribution.

D represents diameter. In a mole that is larger than 1/4 inch, look for fresh growth (about 6 millimetres).

E stands for evolution. Keep an eye out for moles that vary in height, size, colour, or form. Moles may also change over time to manifest new signs and symptoms like bleeding or itching.

The appearance of cancerous (malignant) moles varies widely. Some may exhibit each of the aforementioned alterations. Some might simply exhibit one or two peculiar traits.


The following actions can aid in preventing the growth of moles and their primary consequence, melanoma.

  • Be alert for changes.
  • Discover where your moles are and how they appear. 
  • Check your skin frequently for changes that could indicate melanoma. Self-examine your skin once every month. 
  • Check yourself from head to toe in front of mirrors, paying attention to your scalp, hands and fingernails, armpits, chest, legs, and feet, paying particular attention to the soles and gaps between the toes. Also, look between the buttocks and the vaginal region.
  • Discuss your melanoma risk factors and if you require routine professional skin exams with your doctor.

Defend your skin

Take steps to shield your skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays by doing things like from tanning beds or the sun. Melanoma risk has been linked to exposure to UV light. Also, children who have not been shielded from the sun tend to have more moles.

Skip the sun's peak hours. Even on overcast days or throughout the winter, try to arrange outside activities for different times of the day. While you are outside, look for cover or use an umbrella that blocks the sun.

All year round, use sunscreen. Even on cloudy days, apply sunscreen approximately 30 minutes before heading outside. Use a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 15. Reapply it liberally every two hours, or more frequently if you are swimming or perspiring. 

Do not use tanning beds or lights. UV rays are produced by tanning beds and lamps, which raises your chance of developing skin cancer.


Most moles do not require any sort of care. Makeup might help disguise a mole if you are self-conscious about it. Try trimming it close to the skin's surface or plucking it if the hair is emerging from a mole. Keep the area tidy whenever a mole is cut or irritated. If the mole does not disappear, consult a doctor.

If a mole bothers you or if you observe any worrisome changes in it, you could also discuss surgical removal of the mole with your dermatologist. It simply takes a few minutes to remove a mole, and it is typically done without hospitalization. While removing a mole, your doctor may occasionally leave a margin of healthy skin behind after numbing the area around the mole. The process might result in an enduring scar. Black people are more likely to experience various post-operative adverse effects including pigmentary changes at the incision site and keloid scars.

See your doctor as soon as possible if you discover that a mole has returned.

Complications of Moles

The biggest issue with moles is melanoma. Certain people are more susceptible than the norm to having malignant moles turn into melanoma. Melanoma risk factors include the following:

Having huge moles from birth. These moles are referred to as congenital nevi. These moles are deemed huge on a newborn if they measure more than 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Seldom can a huge mole develop into cancer.

Possessing strange moles. Large, irradiated moles with irregular margins are known as atypical (dysplastic) nevi. As a rule, they run in families.

Having a lot of moles. More than 50 moles are a sign of a higher risk of melanoma and perhaps breast cancer.

Having melanoma in one's family or on one's own body. You are at greater risk if you have ever had melanoma. Moreover, certain atypical nevi can develop into a hereditary variant of melanoma.

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Page last reviewed: Jun 23, 2023

Next review due: Jun 23, 2025

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