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Moles are a common pigmented skin lesion that develops on the top layer of skin. These skin lesions show up more during adulthood, but it isn’t unheard of for kids to have them. Individuals that have light skin usually have more moles, and it’s not unnatural or unheard of. While most moles shouldn’t create too much worry for you, there are certain facts about moles that you need to be aware of.

Moles develop when your skin cells grow in a cluster, rather than being spread throughout the skin. These cells can form into several different kinds of moles, ranging from benign moles, to Congenital Nevi moles and more. Congenital Nevi are moles that are present at birth. These moles can develop into skin cancer, so they should be monitored if there is any change that happens over time. Dysplastic Nevi are moles that are larger than average and usually an irregular shape. These moles also have a high chance of developing into melanoma, especially if there are more than one on an individual’s body. Moles that develop after birth are usually pretty standard, and only need to be monitored if any changes in shape or size happen.

Melanoma, a form of skin cancer, can grow in or near a mole. Melanoma is one of the most severe types of skin cancer, and it can be difficult and painful to treat. If this form of skin cancer is caught early, the chances of curing the skin cancer are more likely. Usually, the first sign of melanoma is change to a mole, or a brand new mole showing up. Usually, by adulthood, you’re very aware of your body and will notice when a new mole shows up, especially if it continues to grow.

If you notice a new mole, this does not mean that it’s a type of skin cancer. Keep an eye on the mole and if any changes happen, or if it begins to grow, visit one of the skin specialists at Northshore Dermatology. We work to manage and prevent any skin cancer that you develop. If you’re uncertain about one of your moles, or you aren’t sure if your mole is a healthy one, contact our office and schedule an appointment with one of our dermatologists today.

How do I tell if my moles are potentially harmful?

An atypical mole can have a mixture of several colors, from pink to dark brown. Usually, it is flat with a smooth, slightly scaly or pebbly surface and it has an irregular edge that may fade into the surrounding skin.