All About Skin Moles: Types, Causes, Treatments & More
What Are Skin Moles?
Skin moles are nothing but development or growth on the skin that usually look brown or black in color. Skin moles can appear on any part of the skin and it generally appears early on in a person’s life or during the first 25 years of a person’s life.
In this blog, we are going to understand what causes moles, different types of moles, early signs of moles and what are the different procedures to remove these moles. We will also understand the difference between moles, skin tags and freckles.
What Causes a Mole?
Moles appear on the skin primarily when cells in the skin grow in cluster instead of being spread throughout the skin. These cells are known are melanocytes and because of these cells that make the pigment giving skin its natural color.
Moles are caused due to different reasons that include
- Exposure to too much sunlight
- Tanning of skin under UV tanning box
- Genetics or family history of moles
Different Types Of Moles
Although we generally categorize moles into one broad category, there are different types of moles and it is important to understand the difference between them in order to understand if you should worry about these dark marks.
- Congenital Moles
The moles that are present in the person right from birth is termed as a congenital mole. These kind of moles appear in 1 out of 100 babies. These moles can be of a different color as per the skin color, they are flat in shape and are generally non-cancerous
- Common Mole( Acquired Mole)
Common moles that are also called as acquired mole are the moles that are brown in color and appear due to skin damage. These moles also are round in shape and generally stay the same as you age. The color of the moles might darken over time but not necessarily turn into melanoma.
- Atypical Mole
Compared to the congenital mole and acquired mole, Atypical mole looks completely different. They are generally bigger in size to have irregularly shaped borders. Atypical moles run a higher risk of becoming cancerous. In a study, it has been shown that 1 in 10 people in the U.S have at least one atypical mole.
Generally, melanomas are considered darker moles, atypical moles can come in different colors.
Further Reading: Types of Skin Moles & How To Know If They Are Safe?
Pictures of Moles
The best way to understand the type of mole is when you look at it. Hence for visualization purposes, we have images that show a different type of moles and how do they look like.
Where Can Moles Appear On Body?
Moles are a very common skin issue that for the most part is harmless although some people might not like the looks of it.
These moles can appear anywhere in the body like on the scalp, armpits under your nails and between your fingers and toes.
Warning Signs Of Skin Moles
Skin moles although generally harmless, It is important to look out for signs of changes over time. A non-changing mole is harmless but if the mole is undergoing subsequent changes as the time passes then it could be a sign of skin cancer. Below mentioned are some signs to look out for.
- The mole is changing in color, shape, and size
- The area where the mole is situated is paining
- There is bleeding in the mole area automatically
These could be signs of melanoma and requires immediate attention from the skin doctor.
Melanoma is the major complications that arise out of moles. Some people have a higher risk of moles turning cancerous and developing into melanoma.
Below mentioned are factors that increase the risk of melanoma:
- Unusual moles
If the moles are irregular in shape and darker than usual. They generally are hereditary in nature. They have dark brown centers and uneven borders
- Too many moles
If you have more than 50 moles then the risk of melanoma increases. Studies have that a person less than 50 years old having 20 moles just on arms is at increased risk of melanoma.
- Melanoma History In The Family
If you had melanoma before then the moles on your body have a higher risk of turning cancerous.
- Large Size Moles On The Body From Birth
If the moles appear on the baby during birth is more than 2 inches in diameter then they are termed as congenital nevi. These unusual large more run the risk of melanoma.
Skin Moles Removal Cost
The cost of mole removal is very subjective and varies from person to person. As we are talking about moles the number of moles that need to be removed plays an important role in the cost of the procedure. So more the moles to be removed, higher would be the cost. Also, the type of procedures undertaken for the removal of moles can vary the cost.
Diagnosis & Treatment of Moles
It is very important to perform diagnosis of a mole by the doctor in order to check if the moles are cancerous in nature. If the diagnosis is negative then there is no need to remove the moles for health purposes but can be removed if the person wants it removed for visual purpose.
The diagnosis is procedure is very simple. The doctor performs a biopsy i.e. removing a small piece of the mole to test under a microscope to see if it is cancerous.
There are 2 major surgical processes followed by the doctors
- Surgical Incision
In this procedure, the doctor numbs the area in and around the mole and then cuts out the whole mole. Post the operation the doctor then stitches or sutures with his method.
- Surgical Shave
In this procedure, the doctor numbs the area in and around the mole and uses the blade to shave off the mole. In this process, you won’t need to stitches or sutures post the operation.
- Laser Treatment
One of the most advance and minimal scarring technology is laser treatment. In this procedure, a high-intensity laser light is focused on the mole which then slowly starts separating from the skin.
Skin Moles Prevention Tips
Congenital moles are a part of our genes that cannot be prevented. But for other types of moles, there are some prevention and care that you can take to avoid those brown/black marks
1. Use sunscreen with SPF 50 whenever you go out in the sun
2. Avoid tanning and using UV tanning booths
3. Apply 2 teaspoons of sunscreen to the entire body at least 30 minutes before heading out. Also, reapply the cream every 2 hours and immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
4. Cover your entire body wearing a full sleeve and trouser whenever getting out during the day
5. Whenever possible avoid getting out in the day during summers from 10 am to 4 pm.
6. Use wide-brimmed hats that are minimum 6 inches
Difference Between A Freckle, Skin Tag & Mole
Many people have a misconception that freckles, moles and skin tags are one and the same. But that’s not the reality, freckles and skin tags are very different from each other.
A skin tag is a small flap of tissue that dangles from the skin. They are not cancerous in nature. While freckles are small, brown spots that are clustered together on the skin. It is generally caused by genetics and/or sun exposure. Freckles generally seen with people have light or red hair along with fair skin and blue eyes. Although freckles in itself are not harmful but people have them run a risk for skin cancer.
Further Reading: Moles Vs. Freckles: What’s The Difference Between Freckles & Moles?
Further Reading: Moles Vs. Warts: What’s The Difference Between Moles & Warts?
How To Get Rid Of Moles On Skin
In order to get rid of the moles, there is a medical treatment that we discussed above in the treatment section. Apart from medical procedures, there are home remedies that one cay try in order to get rid of moles on the skin
The below-mentioned methods are unproven and some may even be dangerous. So these procedures are not highly recommended.
1. Burning the mole with the help of apple cider vinegar
2. Applying iodine to the mole to kill the cells inside
3. Using scissors or a razor blade to cut off the mole
4. Taping garlic to the mole which will break the mole down from the inside
5. Applying a mixture of baking soda with castor oil
6. Tea tree oil
7. Hydrogen peroxide
8. Flaxseed oil
When Should You Get Moles Checked?
It is generally advised to get a skin check-up once a year from a reputed dermatology clinic. When you go for such checkup the dermatologist checks they look at any existing moles and if they have changed and also check for their potential cancerous growth.
Also If there are below mentioned changes happening on your skin you should meet the doctor for a checkup
- Moles growing rapidly
- Moles changing in shape and size
- Moles that are itchy
- Moles that looks infected or is bleeding on its own
So to conclude although moles are common skin issues and are harmless in nature, it is still advised to have a skin check-up once a year to make sure the skin is fine. Also if the moles are changing then it is strongly advised to meet the dermatologist immediately.
If you are facing any issue related to moles or other skin issues, Skin City clinic can help you. We are India’s leading skincare clinic with state of the art medical technology and expert staff who can relieve you of your skin issues in the most sustainable manner.
Call us at 09890225577 or Fill in the form here to get details of mole removal treatment.