If your browser settings allow, we and our partners will have placed cookies on your device when you accessed this website. We and our partners use these cookies for making the website better, customizing content and advertising based on your interests. By continuing to access this website you consent to these activities. See our Privacy Policy to learn more and change your preferences at any time.

By accessing this website you consent to us and our partners placing cookies to improve the website, customize content and advertising based on your interests, view Privacy Policy

Many People Don't Like the Appearance of Skin Moles on Their Bodies

Skin moles are small, raised bumps that can appear anywhere on the body. They can be flat or raised and vary in color from flesh-toned to black. Moles aren't harmful, but some people may want them removed because they're unattractive or bothersome. They are usually brown or black but can also be pink or flesh-colored. They typically appear during early childhood. Sometimes, they may not appear until a person is in their 20s or 30s. But if one has new moles appearing on the skin, it could be a sign of skin cancer. There are two very common forms of skin cancer. The first is squamous cell carcionoma. The second is basal cell carcinoma. Both types of cancer are treatable as long as they are caught early. Knowing your moles can assist with this. 

Types of Moles

There are different types of moles. The main two types include: 

  • Congenital (present at birth). These moles may have a different color than later-developing moles, which often fade to blend in with the surrounding skin as one ages. Congenital moles are usually small and round with smooth edges. Some may contain hairs growing from the top surface of the mole. These types of hairless congenital moles are called "naevi."Acquired (adult) moles usually start as small, flat brown spots and gradually increase in size as they age. Most people have between 10 and 40 moles on their bodies.
  • Atypical moles (dysplastic nevi). These are larger than average and tend to have an irregular shape and uneven border (edges). They often have more than one color and are more likely to become cancerous than ordinary moles.

Causes of Moles

There’s a large number of things that can work as a potential cause and increases the risk factors of moles. Some of the causes include: 

  • Aging - As we age, our skin loses elasticity and becomes thinner, allowing more blood vessels to show through the skin's surface. This can cause freckles and moles to appear on our skin.
  • Genetics - Skin moles are passed down through families, but this doesn't mean that if one person has a mole, everyone else in their family will also develop them. It's thought that some genes predispose us to develop moles as we grow older; however, these genes aren't fully understood yet.
  • UV light - Exposure to sunlight causes damage to our skin cells (DNA), which can lead to increased pigmentation in some areas of our bodies, such as on our shoulders or backs (sun spots). However, it's not known exactly how UV light causes some people to develop moles while others don't when exposed to the sun.
  • Skin pigmentation - Skin moles are usually the result of melanin, a brown pigment that gives skin its color. The skin has several types of melanin, but the most common type is eumelanin. Eumelanin is responsible for one’s hair color and eye color, as well as the color of the skin moles on the body. The amount of eumelanin in one’s skin can vary depending on genetics and environmental factors such as sun exposure and smoking. If there's too much melanin in one area, it may lead to skin moles or freckles.

A condition called melasma is also known as the "mask of pregnancy" because it affects pregnant women more than other people (although it can affect men too). It causes dark patches on the face that look like bruises but aren't caused by injury or trauma. These patches can appear anywhere on the face, including around the nose and eyes, but they're most common on the cheeks and forehead. They gradually fade after pregnancy ends but sometimes return during other hormonal changes such as perimenopause or menopause.

Having Moles Removed

Removing moles is relatively safe, although some risks are involved. One may experience some bleeding, bruising and soreness. A doctor or nurse usually removes moles. The procedure can be performed in a clinic, hospital or private surgery. It takes between five and 10 minutes.

The doctor will make a small cut in the mole to remove it. This is usually done with a scalpel blade, but sometimes lasers are used instead. The mole is then cut away from the skin with scissors or forceps and sent for laboratory testing to confirm whether it is cancerous or not.

If one has several moles that need removing, they will all be treated simultaneously using one large incision across all the moles being removed. The wound will be cleaned and dressed before one leaves the clinic or hospital. A person might also have an appointment for follow-up checks with a specialist nurse at home if there are any complications from the operation.