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Moles: Causes, Types And Treatment Options


  • Moles, medically known as Nevi, are common tiny spots on the skin that can show up anywhere on your body.
  • Many people may have 10 to 40 moles throughout their lifetime by the time they are 50 years old.
  • A few moles may develop into cancer and thus, removing them gets necessary.
  • You should consult a dermatologist for an examination to identify any cancerous signs, such as a sudden enlargement in size and related itching.

What Is A Skin Mole?

A mole, or nevus, is an area of growth on the skin mostly caused by a cluster of pigmented cells. A mole is usually a brown spot and can also be of other colors, such as black, red, pink, or of your skin. It is round or oval and flat or raised. Your mole can also have hairs growing out of them. Certain moles appear at birth, while others develop later.

Many moles develop in adulthood because of consistent sun exposure and melanin product effects. Even though moles are mostly harmful, you should monitor their growth as that can indicate cancer. Moles can show up on any body part, such as the neck, face, genitals, armpits, scalp, and below fingernails. They may also develop alone or in groups. Moles that appear during birth are usually large.

Types And Classification Of Moles:

Here are the common types and classifications of moles depending on their appearance, and development:

  • Common Nevi – It is a normal mole, which has a little growth on your skin (pink, brown, or tan) and has a significant edge. 
  • Congenital Nevi – It is a mole that develops on your skin when you are born. Approximately one in a hundred people get congenital. Such a mole tends to develop into melanoma more than a mole that appears after birth. Your skin mole is likely to get cancerous if it is over eight millimeters in diameter.
  • Dysplastic Nevi – This mole is irregularly shaped and bigger than a pencil eraser. Dysplastic nevi usually have an uneven color with lighter uneven edges and dark brown centers. It is usually hereditary (inherited) and people may have 100+ such moles. You are likely to develop malignant (cancerous) melanoma if you have dysplastic nevi. You should consult our dermatologist if you see your mole changing and check if it’s cancer.
  • Acquired Mole – It is a type of mole that develops in early childhood and adulthood. Over-sun exposure may cause a spurt in their looks. Acquired mole rarely develops into cancer.
  • Atypical or Irregular Mole- Atypical or irregular mole, also called dysplastic nevi, is irregular in shape and large in size with a dark brown center. This type of mole is hereditary and is likely to develop into cancer.
  • Cancerous Mole or Melanoma – It is a highly irregular and asymmetrical mole that often develops into skin cancer or melanoma over time.

What Causes Moles?

Moles develop on your skin when cells grow in a cluster rather than getting spread across the surface. Such cells are called melanocytes and make the pigment, which gives a natural color to your skin. Your moles may darken after your skin gets exposed to the sun in your teen years and pregnancy.

Here are the key factors that cause moles on your skin:

  • GenesThe genes you inherit from your parents affect the development, pattern, and number of moles on your body. Ethnicity affects the hereditary development of moles. Fair people tend to have more moles than wheatish dark-skinned people. According to a research study in 2015, genetic mutations tend to form moles. BRAF gene’s genetic mutation was present in 78% of benign moles caused by heredity. 
  • Sun Exposure – Your skin’s consistent exposure to the sun develops more moles, mainly in childhood or early teenage. Moles tend to get dark because of consistent sun exposure. 
  • Hormonal Fluctuations- Hormonal fluctuations in your puberty or pregnancy also develop moles, which tend to get darker or more prominent because of further hormonal fluctuations in your body.

Diagnosis For Sudden Appearance Of Moles:

Skin is the largest organ in your body. You should be proactive to prevent skin cancer to stay healthy, mainly if you are fair, have several moles in your body and your family members have moles or skin cancer. Besides restricting your exposure to sunlight and applying sunscreen every day, examining moles boosts the chances of early detection and melanoma treatment.

At Clinic Next Face, dermatologists can examine your skin once you see changes in your mole’s color and looks. Abnormal or irregular moles can develop anywhere on your body and then be melanoma. Our dermatologist can analyze your primary skin as a physical examination. We also assess your family history to develop changing or irregular moles to identify the causes before suggesting the right treatment and may even recommend a biopsy to check for melanoma.

Are You At Risk Of Developing Melanoma?

People who live in tropical locations and whose skin gets excessively exposed to harmful UV rays are likely to develop melanoma because of moles.  Light-skinned men and women are likely to develop atypical moles. The sudden development of a new mole or physical changes in the moles on your calf or lower leg requires quick medical evaluation. If you have over 50 irregular moles on your body and a family history of melanoma, you have a high risk of developing skin cancer. 

How to Identify the Risk of Melanoma?

Here are the changes in your mole that we look for to identify the risk of melanoma:

  • Inconsistently growing mole 
  • Hardened mole 
  • Change in the height, texture, shape, and color of a mole 
  • Related flaking or dryness 
  • Related itching 
  • Bleeding or oozing

Prevention And Management Of Moles:

As we can’t control your genes, we can’t help you prevent all kinds of moles. Here are the ways you can prevent and manage moles:


  • Sun Protection – You should avoid sun exposure, mainly during the peak hours of sunlight, between 10 am to 4 pm. Apply sunscreen every day on your skin before stepping outdoors. Your skin stays healthy if you stay indoors most of the time. Wear sun-protective clothes, such as full pants, and long sleeves. Put on a wide hat and sunglasses to protect your skin from the disastrous effect of UV rays.
  • Skin Examination – Clinic Next Face can examine your skin regularly to look for changes in the sizes or colors of your existing moles that indicate melanoma, mainly if it passes in your family generations. Book a medical examination with our skin experts frequently. 
  • Not Using Tanning Lamps – You should avoid the use of tanning lamps as they emit UV rays and increase the risk of you developing skin cancer. 

Home Remedies For Moles:

Almost all moles are harmless. Still, you can’t treat early melanoma with home remedies. So, consult our experts to learn the most effective treatment suited to your concerns. 

Treatment Options:

At Clinic Next Face, you can opt for the treatment options below to get rid of your moles:

  • Laser treatment 
  • Punch excision
  • Topical medications

Prognosis of Moles:

Skin cancer or melanoma may appear as a regular mole, but it is a significant cause of concern. Therefore, seek a medical examination by a dermatologist if you notice an altered appearance of a mole for early detection of melanoma. Smaller moles are generally easier to remove than larger ones and barely leave scars.

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