Moles

mole example

Appearance

  • Brown, tan, black, red, pink, skin-toned, or colorless
  • Round
  • Flat or slightly raised
  • Doesn’t change from month to month
  • May or may not have hair growing out of it

Where are moles found?

Moles can be appear anywhere on the body where there is skin and can even be on the scalp, between fingers and toes, on the soles of feet and under the nails.

Should I be worried about my moles?

Moles are common. It is normal for people to have a few moles on their skin. However, it is important to be aware that melanoma, a type of skin cancer, can start growing from a mole. Skin checks are recommended to monitor any potential signs of skin cancer.

How does a mole look different from a melanoma?

A Melanoma Fits The “ABCDE Characteristics”:

  • Asymmetry – One half of the lesion appears unlike the other half
  • Border – An irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border
  • Color – Different colors within the same lesion. Includes shades of tan, brown, or black. Sometimes may be white, red or blue.
  • Diameter – Melanomas are usually greater than 6mm in diameter when diagnosed
  • Evolving – A melanoma looks different from the rest of a persons moles and is changing in either size, shape or color.
mole example

Treatment of Moles

Moles do not need to be medically removed unless they are concerning for melanoma. Such moles can be removed and then tested at a laboratory to see if there are signs of melanoma in the mole. This process is called a skin biopsy. This can be easily done in the office with an injection to numb the area. Depending on the size of the mole and where it is located, stitches may be needed.

Learn more at the American Academy of Dermatology: AAD Moles.

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