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Moles Treatment

Skin moles, also known as nevi, are a prevalent dermatological condition that affects many individuals. They are typically harmless and appear as small, dark spots on the skin. However, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of skin moles to ensure the overall health and well-being of your skin.

What are Skin Moles?

Moles, also known as nevi, are clusters of pigmented cells that appear as dark spots on the skin. They can vary in size, shape, and color. Most moles appear during childhood and adolescence, and the average person has somewhere between 10 and 40 moles. Moles can develop anywhere on the body, including the scalp, face, arms, legs, and even the genital area. 

Types of Skin Moles

There are various types of skin moles, and each has its own distinct characteristics. Some of the most common types of moles include:

  • Congenital Moles: These moles are present at birth and are often larger in size. While most congenital moles are harmless, larger ones may carry a slightly higher risk of developing into melanoma, a type of skin cancer.
  • Acquired Moles: Acquired moles are those that appear after birth. They can develop at any age and are usually caused by sun exposure or genetic factors. The majority of acquired moles are harmless, but it’s important to monitor any changes in their appearance.
  • Atypical Moles: Atypical moles, also known as dysplastic nevi, are more irregular in shape and color compared to normal moles. These moles may have uneven borders, a mixture of colors, and a larger size. While most atypical moles are benign, they have a higher risk of progressing to melanoma.

Causes of Moles

The development of skin moles can be influenced by various factors. First, your genetic makeup plays a significant role in the number and type of moles you have. If your parents or other family members have a large number of moles, you may be more prone to developing them as well. Additionally, prolonged and unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can increase the number of moles on your skin. Sun exposure can also darken existing moles and raise the risk of developing cancerous moles. Lastly, hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy or puberty, can trigger the development of new moles or changes in existing ones. These changes are usually temporary and subside over time.

When to Worry About a Mole

While most moles are harmless, it’s crucial to be able to distinguish between normal moles and potentially dangerous ones. Here are some signs that your mole may warrant further attention:

  • Asymmetry: If a mole has an irregular shape or is not symmetrical, it may indicate a risk of skin cancer. Normal moles are typically round or oval and have a symmetrical appearance.
  • Border Irregularities: Moles with uneven or blurry borders are more likely to be cancerous. Monitor your moles for any changes in their borders.
  • Color Changes: Moles that have multiple colors, such as shades of brown, black, red, or blue, should be examined by a dermatologist. Normal moles usually have a consistent color throughout.
  • Diameter: Moles larger than six millimeters in diameter may be a cause for concern. However, it’s important to note that melanomas can also be smaller in size.
  • Evolution: Any changes in the size, shape, color, or elevation of a mole should be evaluated by a dermatologist. Pay attention to moles that itch, bleed, or become painful.

Self-Examination for Skin Moles

Regular self-examination is crucial for detecting any changes in your moles. Follow these steps to conduct a thorough examination:

  • Look for New Moles: Examine your body regularly to identify any new moles that have appeared.
  • Check Existing Moles: Observe your existing moles for any changes in color, shape, size, or texture.
  • Use the ABCDE Rule: The ABCDE rule is a helpful guideline to assess the characteristics of your moles. It stands for Asymmetry, Border irregularity, Color variation, Diameter larger than six millimeters, and Evolution.
  • Take Note of Itchiness or Bleeding: If any of your moles become itchy, bleed, or develop an open sore, seek medical attention.

If you notice any concerning changes during self-examination, it’s essential to consult a dermatologist for a professional evaluation.

What to Expect During a Professional Mole Evaluation

Moles are typically evaluated through a combination of visual examination and, if necessary, a biopsy. During a visual mole screening, a board-certified dermatologist will carefully inspect the mole, noting its size, shape, color, and any other characteristics. If the dermatologist suspects that the mole may be cancerous or atypical, they may recommend a biopsy. This involves removing a small sample of the mole for further analysis under a microscope. The results of the biopsy will help determine the appropriate course of action for treatment or monitoring.

Treatment for Moles

Most skin moles are harmless and do not require treatment. However, some moles may be removed for cosmetic reasons or due to potential health risks. Here are some common treatment options:

  • Excision: Excision involves surgically removing the mole and stitching the wound closed. This method is commonly used for suspicious or cancerous moles.
  • Shave Excision: Shave excision is a procedure where the mole is shaved off with a scalpel. This method is often used for non-cancerous moles that protrude from the skin’s surface.
  • Laser Removal: Laser removal is a non-invasive treatment option that uses laser technology to break down the pigmented cells in the mole. This method is typically used for smaller, non-cancerous moles.
  • Freezing (Cryotherapy): Cryotherapy involves freezing the mole with liquid nitrogen, causing it to blister and eventually fall off. This method is suitable for small, non-cancerous moles.

How to Prevent Moles

While some factors contributing to the development of skin moles, such as genetics, cannot be controlled, there are preventive measures you can take. Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by wearing sunscreen with a high SPF, seeking shade, and wearing protective clothing, such as hats and long-sleeved shirts. Furthermore, tanning beds emit harmful UV rays that can increase the risk of developing moles and skin cancer. Opt for safer alternatives, such as self-tanning lotions or spray tans. Lastly, perform self-examinations regularly and visit a dermatologist annually for a comprehensive skin check-up.

Mole Evaluation and Treatment at VitalSkin

Understanding skin moles is essential for maintaining your skin’s health. By recognizing the different types of moles, understanding their causes and risk factors, and monitoring them regularly, you can take control of your skin health. Remember, if you notice any concerning changes or have any doubts about a mole, consult a dermatologist for a professional evaluation. The experienced dermatologists at VitalSkin are able to accurately diagnose atypical moles for early intervention. Stay proactive and schedule an appointment today.

Related Treatments

Skin Biopsy

A biopsy works by taking a small sample of tissue from a suspect area in the body so that it can be tested under lab conditions for certain diseases and disorders. Learn More


Excision is a minimally-invasive surgery technique used to remove moles, skin growths and lesions. Learn More

Mole Treatment and Skin Cancer Screening

A mole and skin cancer screening is a full body review of all present lesions. Recommended frequency will be discussed based on your individual cancer risk. Learn More

Full-Body Skin Exams

Growths and marks can be signs of more serious issues, so a full-body skin exam is a great way to identify and evaluate if problems exist. Learn More

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