Moles can appear anywhere on the skin. Moles develop on the scalp, between the fingers and toes, on the soles and palms, and even under the nails.
Known as nevi (singular “nevus”), moles and other birthmarks are benign pigmented spots or patches of skin that range in color from tan, brown and black (moles) to red, pink or purple (vascular nevi, such as strawberry hemangiomas or port wine stains). Though most birthmarks are harmless, they may develop into cancer. Depending on their depth, location and color, as well as the patient’s skin type, age and other factors, treatment for benign but unattractive birthmarks may take the form of laser or pulsed light therapy, microdermabrasion or surgical excision.
People often want to know how they can tell a mole from a melanoma. Here is a general rule.
A mole on your body has these traits:
- 1 color – Often brown, but a mole can be tan, black, red, pink, blue, skin-toned, or colorless.
- Round in shape.
- Flat or slightly raised.
- Looks the same from month to month.
Your moles may not look alike. Even in the same person, moles can differ in size, shape, or color. Moles can have hair. Some moles will change slowly over time, possibly even disappearing.
Moles are common. Almost every adult has a few moles. Adults who have light skin often have more moles. They may have 10 to 40 moles on their skin. This is normal.
You should not be overly worried about your moles. But you should know:
- A type of skin cancer, melanoma, can grow in or near a mole.
- Caught early and treated, melanoma can be cured.
- The first sign of melanoma is often a change to a mole — or a new mole on your skin.
- Checking your skin can help you find melanoma early. A dermatologist can show you how to examine your skin and tell you how often you should check your skin.
If a mole starts to grow, itch, or bleed, call the office and make an appointment to see one of our providers.
When it comes to treating your skin, it’s important to choose a specialist who knows the latest skin care treatments. Call 727-388-6982, today to schedule your appointment.