Skin Mole Causes and Removal

" Nevi, melanocytic nevus or skin molesappear as small brown or tan spots on the skin, which may be round and flat or raised. They are quite common and may be genetically influenced. Moles may appear at any age but most of them develop by the age of 20 to 30 years. They are sometimes mistaken for freckles or other growths in the skin. Moles are characterized by color (tan, black, pink, skin-tone, no color, blue), round shape, slightly raised or flat on the skin and last, do not change in appearance over time. Moles in children are normal and may just appear. The moles grow as the child gets older. Skin cancer is rare in children. Approximately 1 in 100 individuals are bon with a congenital (at birth) mole. People born with moles are considered at higher risk for melanoma (skin cancer). Skin moles are not contagious and may regrow after removal.

Skin Mole do not look alike, and they differ in color, size, and shape. Some moles have hair. They can appear anywhere on the skin, including the scalp, between toes and fingers, on the palms and soles, and under the nails." 

skin mole
Examples of Skin Moles on Face and Body
Source: Meisenheimer Clinic

What are Moles?

Skin Mole occur when skin pigment cells called melanocytes grow in clusters. These cells give the skin its natural color, but when they group together, they form dark spots, which we call moles. These spots may become darker after constant exposure to the sun, during adolescence, and during pregnancy.

Inherited genes and exposure to the sun especially before adulthood are major factors that determine the development of moles. They are more common in people who are prone to develop frecklesand in individuals with light skin complexions, blonde or red-haired, and with blue or green eyes. However, moles occur in people of different skin colors and races, including Caucasians, Asians, Africans, and Indians.

Tip: It is a good idea to make a personal body mole map to track moles. A camera can also be used to record any moles that need to be watched. Every month check the mole skin map against what is happening on your body.

How to Inspect the Body for Skin Moles

Types of Moles

Some moles appear at birth and these are called congenital nevi. Thesecommon moles may be more likely to develop into cancer (melanoma) than those that appear after birth. Regular moles have symmetrical shapes, regular borders, uniform in color, and are small (no bigger than the size of a pencil eraser). They may be flat or raised, and may have hair on them.

split skin mole
A Spitz Nevus Mole Like This One Is Not Cancerous, But Looks Like a Melanoma or Skin Cancer. Only a Lab Can Tell the Difference.  These types  of moles are common in People Under Age 20.
Source: AAD

Irregular or atypical moles are called dysplastic nevi and are usually asymmetrical (oddly shaped), having irregular borders, with multiple colors. They tend to be bigger than the size of a regular pencil eraser, often flat or nearly flat. Another condition is having a history of melanoma in the family. People who have more than 20-25 atypical moles have a greater likelihood of developing skin cancer or melanoma. However, the irregular moles themselves are not likely to become cancerous.

Any mole changes should be checked by a doctorfor skin cancer evaluation. The characteristic ABCDEs of melanoma include:

• A – Asymmetrical shape
• B - Borders of the mole are irregular, ragged, or blurred.
• C - Color of the mole is not uniform, having shades of brown, tan,black, white, blue,or red.
• D- Diameter is larger than that of a pencil’s eraser.
• E – Evolving or changing in shape, size,or color.

skin mole melanoma

ยท         Skin Moles should be Checked Every Year for Cancerous Conditions. Visit a Doctor if you see any change in Mole Shape, Color or Symptoms such as Itching, Bleeding or Scabs
Source: AAD


Skin Mole are mostly not dangerous. Only moles that look different from existing moles, those that appear after age 30, and those that change in color, size, and shape must checked especially if they ooze, bleed, or become painful. A dermatologist may request for a biopsy of the suspicious mole to determine if it is cancerous.

Treatment and Mole Removal

True regular moles do not need treatment, but one may opt to have them surgically removed for cosmetic reasons. They are not treated with lightening creams, bleaching, freezing, or using other chemicals. Note that insurance will not pay for cosmetic mole removal.

removal of mole
Removal of Mole Using Cosmetic Shave Procedure.
Shown: Before and After by Dr. Lucky Meisenheimer

Moles removal is performed in a doctor’s office by:

punch biopsy: area to be biopsied in anethitized. Typically a 4mm punch is used to punch out the mole. Stiches are used to close the wound.

Skin Mole Removal Punch Biopsy Vide

shavemole removal: use of a surgical blade to shave the mole off. Do not attempt at home since this could result in infection, a scar or failure to test a mole that might be cancerous

Cosmetic Mole Removal Using Shave Method

• surgical excision: Dermatologist cuts out the mole and stitches the wound closed
• laser treatment
• cryotherapymole removal: hardening the mole via freezing

Irregular moles need to be sampled or surgically removed and evaluated for cancer. The dermatologist removes the entire mole with some normal skin around it, and closes the wound with stitches.

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References for Red Spots on Skin:

Web MD. Moles, Freckles and Skin Tags.

MedicineNet. Moles.

AAD. Moles


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