What are skin moles?
Moles are universal - everyone has at least a few. But when new ones grow, or you notice changes in an existing mole, it’s time to see your dermatologist. Moles are the most common type of skin growth, and are usually small, dark brown spots. Moles (the medical term is nevi) are caused by clusters of pigmented (colored) cells. Most moles develop from childhood into the teen years. It’s normal to have 10 to 40 moles by adulthood.
The vast majority of moles (the medical name is nevi) are harmless. However, when new moles appear after age 30, or existing moles change in terms of look, feel, size, itchiness, irritation, bleeding or oozing, they need to be evaluated for melanoma. Although it’s rare, melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, and can be fatal. However, it can be treated successfully if diagnosed early.
Do I need to worry about moles?
Not unless you notice a change in a mole or a new mole(s) develops after age 30. Melanoma can develop from a mole.
Are there different types of moles?
There are other skin growths that are similar to common moles, including: