1. What do moles look like?
2. When do moles first appear?
Each mole has its own growth pattern. At first, moles are flat and brown or black in color, like a freckle. Over time, they usually enlarge, and some may develop hairs. As the years pass, moles usually change slowly, becoming raised and lighter in color. Most moles will slowly disappear, seeming to fade away.
Moles may darken, which can happen after exposure to the sun. During the teen years and pregnancy, moles tend to become darker and larger and new ones may appear.
3. Can moles become cancerous?
Moles known as dysplastic nevi or atypical moles are larger than average and irregular in shape. They tend to have uneven color with dark brown centers and lighter, uneven edges. These moles tend to be hereditary. Persons with dysplastic nevi may have a greater-than-average chance of developing malignant melanoma.
4. How do I recognize abnormalities in a mole?
A: stands for ASYMMETRY, when one half of the mole doesn't match the other half.
If a mole displays any of these signs, it should be checked immediately by a dermatologist.
The majority of moles and other blemishes are benign (non-cancerous). They will never be a threat to the health of the person who has them. The only spots or blemishes that warrant medical concern are those that do something out of the ordinary – those that act differently from other existing moles. This includes any spot that suddenly changes in size, shape or color or one that bleeds, itches, becomes painful, or first appears when a person is past his/her twenties.
5. How are abnormal looking moles treated?
Content courtesy of the American Academy of Dermatology