Moles, also known as Nevi, are a common type of skin growth that range in color from natural skin tone to brown or black. Moles are caused by clusters of pigmented cells. Most moles appear in early childhood and continue into adulthood. Most people have 10 to 40 moles, some of which may change in appearance or fade away over time. Although most moles are harmless, some may become cancerous. Moles are important to monitor because of their potential risk for turning into malignant melanoma.
Causes of a Mole
Moles occur when melanocytes (the cell that gives skin its color) grow in a cluster instead of spreading throughout the skin.
Different types of Moles
The most common types of skin moles include:
What to look out for when examining your Moles
The ABCDE guide can help determine if a mole may indicate melanoma or other skin cancers:
Mole Treatment and Removal
After receiving a comprehensive skin exam, if the mole needs to be further evaluated under the microscope, a biopsy (obtaining a small tissue sample of the mole) will be performed and evaluated by a board certified dermatopathologist. If the mole is found to be atypical, the entire mole may be removed.
If you have any concerns regarding your moles, please call our offices for an appointment.