What are Moles?

Moles are small brown or black growths that are on a person’s skin and they can be flat or raised. Most every person has a certain number of moles and these growths can change colors and even disappear as a person ages. Individuals have moles on their skin where the cells were not dispersed across the surface of the skin.

Instead, these cells developed in clumps and this process formed a mole. There are two classifications of moles, which are congenital nevi and dysplastic nevi. Congenital moles are on a baby’s skin at birth. Dysplastic moles are larger in size and they often have a nonuniform shape and a darker shade of brown in the center of the mole.

What are the Symptoms of Moles?

Although most moles are brown, some moles are red or pink. The shape of a mole can also vary, but they are commonly oval-shaped or circular. Individuals can have moles on any area of their body including the arms, legs, scalp, back and between the fingers.

Most moles do not cause any health concerns, but it is possible for a mole to become cancerous. Individuals should visit a doctor to have a mole examined if it becomes painful, itches or bleeds, as these are signs that the mole could be malignant.

How are Moles Treated?

Unless a mole displays signs that it may be cancerous, there is no reason for individuals to have any type of treatment for their moles. Some people elect to have certain moles removed for cosmetic purposes or if the moles are bothersome.

Removing a mole is a simple procedure and a medical professional will either perform a surgical shave or a surgical excision. During a surgical shave, the mole is shaved off even with the surface of the skin. When a surgical excision is performed, the mole is cut out of the skin and the skin is stitched up. After removing a mole, the mole is normally sent to a laboratory and tested to determine if it is cancerous.

Last Reviewed:
October 07, 2016
Last Updated:
August 31, 2017