Almost everyone has moles, as they are very common. However, some moles are completely safe and nothing to worry about, and others can be cause for concern. Without the medical expertise and experience of a doctor, the difference can be very difficult to differentiate. This is because moles can vary in shape, size, color, and even change over time. While many moles may be completely normal, others could be more harmful and develop into melanoma. Melanoma is a type of cancer that develops from the pigment-producing cells known as melanocytes. Below you will find the most common types of skin moles and what to look out for.
Types of Skin Moles
Moles appear on your skin when melanocytes grow in a cluster somewhere on your skin. A melanoncyte is a mature melanin-forming cell on your skin. While these generally disperse throughout your skin, they can sometimes cluster up and form a mole. There are multiple types of skin moles that vary in size, shape, and color. Below you will find some of the most common types of skin moles.
- Congenital Mole: These are the moles that are present on your body when you are born.
- Common (aka “Acquired”) Mole: These moles appear on your skin after birth. The average person has about ten to forty of these on their body.
- Atypical (aka “Dysplastic Nevus”) Mole: These are the type of moles that may have an irregular shape and have more than one color. They are usually larger than a pencil eraser, and they may look like melanoma but are not.
Your moles may be a variety of colors. Brown or black-colored moles are considered normal. You can also have skin-colored moles as they are also completely normal. However, if your mole is red, pink, white, or blue, it should be a cause for concern. When these colors are mixed with a brown or black mole, it a sign of melanoma. If your mole is bleeding, oozing, painful, or even itchy, it should be looked at by a medical professional immediately.
Take Inventory of Your Moles
One of the most essential pieces of advice from medical professionals about moles is that you need to know where your moles are, what they look like, and if you develop any new ones. Moles can appear in various places, including between your fingers and toes, on your scalp, and even under your nails. Most of your moles outside of the ones you were born with will appear during childhood and adolescence. As you age, you may notice that some moles grow or change from light to dark. The main purpose of knowing what your moles look like is so you can monitor if there are any changes. Your moles should continue to appear symmetrical and round with clearly defined borders. They may be flat or raised but should always be smaller than a pencil eraser. They should also be the same color throughout.
What to Look For
Medical professionals recommend that you scan your skin monthly to quickly notice if there have been any changes in your skin. Catching any signs of melanoma early is vital for your health. Medical professionals have reduced the process for determining whether a mole is a cause for concern by referencing the “ABCDEs” of melanoma. This is a quick reminder of what to look for when you do a skin scan monthly.
The sides of your molds should match. If you find that one half of your mole doesn’t match the other, it’s time to see a professional.
If your mole doesn’t have edges that are clearly defined, it can be a cause for concern.
If your moles vary in color (both in terms of darkness and the mole color itself), this can be a sign you need some professional help to rule out that there are no issues.
Most moles should be smaller than a pencil eraser. Any larger and you’ll want to get the mole checked out by a doctor.
The mole changing in size, shape, color, or overall appearance is not a good sign. This is especially true if it begins to itch or bleed. Set up an appointment with a doctor to be sure everything is fine.
It is extremely common to get moles removed to ensure that your skin stays healthy and free from any harmful conditions like melanoma. After a consultation with a skilled medical professional, your mole can be removed quickly and relatively pain-free.
Mole Removal in Bakersfield
If you have moles that you are concerned about, contact Bakersfield Med Spa. They specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of moles. They provide mole removal in Bakersfield and can help ensure your skin stays healthy. Contact their office today to set up an appointment!